-- Daniel S. Paradis was nervous.
too fast, getting ahead of the note cards he held in his hand.
But, who could
Regional High School student was the first to speak, setting the
pace for a competitive team that had poured an academic year into
The team of
five students from the high school in Barre was angling for points
yesterday that would make up one-fourth of their score at the
16th annual Massachusetts Envirothon unfolding at Heifier Project
International's Overlook Farm. Strengthening local food systems
was the theme of this year's event.
scored as the students took turns explaining how they will use
an annual food festival to raise awareness among their peer and
thoughout the community about locally raised food and farms. Eventually,
the students said, they would like to introduce locally grown
food into the school cafeteria.
judges was a former state commissioner of food and agriculture,
a wildlife biologist and editor of the state's wildlife magazine,
and an associate commissioner of the state Department of Environmental
confidence was high after the presentation.
we did excellent," said Brittany J. Downey of Petersham.
The students, she said, visited five different farms and interviewed
several people in connection with their project.
team ended the day with a first place win in the presentation
the team from the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science at
WPI were the only two of the 12 Central Massachusetts teams entered
who took top awards in yesterday's event. Mass Academy placed
second overall in the competition.
to Mr. Paradis, who is from Oakham, and Ms. Downey, the Quabbin
team includes: Joseph M. Paquin of Hardwick, Sara A. Zglobicki
of New Braintree, CrystalRose M. Fales of Ware, and alternate,
Lia M. Martin of Hardwick. The team is coached by Quabbin teachers
Becky Bottomley and Stacey Hill.
County 4-H team won yesterday's event. The team will represent
the state in the international competition to be held in July
at Mount St. Mary College in Maryland. A team from Acton-Boxboro
Regional High School in Acton placed third overall in the competition.
high school students from throughout the state competed on 36
different teams. In addition to the oral presentations, students
were scored on a series of wildlife, plant, soil, and forestry-related
identifications and tests they had to make at three different
to the competition, the students were given tours of Overlook
Farm. A working farm of 270 acres, Overlook's mission is teaching
the public about world hunger, poverty, and solutions through
It was a perfect
spring day on a rural farm. A chilling wind proved a nuisance,
flapping tent panels during presentations and, at times, uprooting
stakes and collapsing tent sections. It also rained intermittently.
llamas enthusiastically nosed up to the fence at the edge of the
corral to listen to the voices of students in the tents on the
other side. A wagon of hay bales was fitted with a team of horses
to take the students and coaches on tour.
a chili kind of day," said Marjorie A. Cooper. The Leicester
dairy farmer, who was chairman of yesterday's event, was making
sure everything was in order for a special luncheon.
Environmental Council of Millbury Memorial High School, who would
serve the meal, was receiving final instructions from chef Louise
DiMarzio. Ms. DiMarzio, who runs BritMar Catering Co. of Rutland,
had volunteered to cook for the students. She had prepared food
gathered from area farms and businesses.
is the hardest month to come up with these local kinds of things,"
Ms. Cooper said. "But, we used local wherever we could, and
we feel confident in the meal. We also wanted a meal that represented
Heifer Project, so the chili, bread, and salad are appropriate."
On the menu
were two kinds of chili--one vegeterian, the other with chunks
of buffalo provided by Alta Vista Buffalo Farm in Rutland. For
dessert there were three kinds of cookies; one included cranberries
from Clover Hill Farm in Hardwick. There was also ice cream specially
made for the day--including white chocolate almond and peanut
butter puddles--by Guy R. Powell of Robbie's Place at Crystal
Caves in Auburn.