Scholarships offered to students who display knowledge of environment
PRATT -- The Kansas ECO-Meet season is right around the corner, with events due to kick off at Wilson Reservoir on Sept. 30. This series of quiz-bowl type competitions, sponsored by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) in cooperation with local school districts, is in its 11th year as a statewide program. It gives middle and high school students the opportunity to prove their knowledge and skills in identification of native Kansas plants, wildlife, and ecosystems.

Students compete in four different events within a meet: two individual table tests concentrating on knowledge of a certain grouping of Kansas wildlife and a particular ecosystem, and two team tests that include an interpretive skit and a plant scavenger hunt. Regional events provide awards to students in the form of medals, and most offer scholarships to top-finishers.

Nine regional ECO-Meets are planned this fall, as follow:

  • Wilson Lake ECO-Meet, Sylvan Grove — Sept. 30;
  • Webster Lake ECO-Meet, Hays — Oct. 6;
  • Milford Lake ECO-Meet, Junction City – Oct. 7;
  • Lakewood Discovery Center ECO-Meet, Salina – Oct. 8;
  • Great Plains Nature Center ECO-Meet, Wichita – Oct. 13;
  • Dillon Nature Center ECO-Meet, Hutchinson – Oct. 14;
  • Prairie Park Nature Center ECO-Meet, Lawrence – Oct. 19;
  • Southeast Kansas Education Center ECO-Meet, Greenbush – Oct. 22; and
  • Ernie Miller Nature Center ECO-Meet, Olathe – Oct. 28.

The State Finals ECO-Meet will be held at Ft. Larned National Historic Site on Thursday, Nov. 5. With the help of the Kansas Wildscape Foundation, KDWP, private companies, and other organizations, scholarship funds are available to top-placing teams and individuals at the state finals.

Anyone interested in participating or assisting in an ECO-Meet, or helping with scholarships, should go online to, phone Mike Rader at 620-672-0708, or email