Contact Melanie Rapp, Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.
“Connect-the-Dots” to Green Living at DNREC’s Building at the Delaware State Fair
HARRINGTON (July 16, 2012) – Step inside DNREC’s education building at the Delaware State Fair and follow the trail through the First State’s environments – from our state parks, farms, and wetlands to our woodlands, beaches and backyards – and “Connect-the-Dots” to green living. The new Green Living exhibit and “Connect-the-Dots” game guide you through a tour of Delaware and make the connections between how our actions affect our environment.
"We hope everyone stops by the DNREC building at the State Fair to learn ways to save money and improve the environment at the same time," said DNREC Secretary Collin O'Mara. "This year's Green Living exhibit makes the connections to the actions that will improve our world and our quality of life. We invite everyone to visit the DNREC building and discover Green Living."
The DNREC building is located on Rider Road at the north end of the fairgrounds near the 4-H Building and across from the farm machinery displays. The building is open from 5 until 8 p.m. on preview night, Thursday, July 19 and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, Friday, July 20 through Saturday, July 28.
Visitors can play the “Connect-the-Dots” game by visiting each Green Living exhibit and making the connections. For instance, by planting a tree, more oxygen is released into our atmosphere by that tree, which then improves the quality of the air that we breathe and our health. Participants who complete the game will win a beautiful black-eyed susan flower they can take home and plant in their yards.
Visitors who make a pledge to make a change in their world – volunteer to help clean-up a waterway, repair a leaky faucet, or replace a light bulb with an energy efficient bulb, just to name a few – will qualify for the grand prize drawings of a State Park weekend package, a rain barrel, an energy efficient lighting package, a DNREC “grab bag” prize, or other great prize.
The Delaware State Parks’ exhibit showcases Governor Jack Markell’s Trails and Pathways Initiative for a bikable and walkable Delaware by creating a statewide network of trails and pathways. The Trails Initiative will improve air quality, provide transportation alternatives, expand recreational opportunities, spur local businesses and promote healthier lifestyles. Visitors can view maps of proposed trails and pathways and learn how trails will create new connections to communities throughout our state. Families can find out how they can take the 2012 Delaware State Parks Trail Challenge by hiking existing state park trails to earn a Hiker Award and Trail Challenge patch.
While you’re in the DNREC Building, visit the Green Energy House, along with a septic system exhibit and DelDOT’s LIveable Lawn display, and see how you can live green – and save green. The house showcases the practices and products that can help homeowners save money and improve the environment. As you tour the open-framed house, you’ll see familiar spaces and you’ll discover plenty of energy, water and money-saving ideas – many of which you can use today with little or no costs to you.
The septic system display demonstrates how a septic system works and the financial and technical assistance available to help replace a malfunctioning system. A failing septic system is one of the largest sources of water pollution and groundwater contamination, so replacing a malfunctioning one protects our water resources and helps prevent the spread of infection and disease. Information on Delaware’s Septic Rehabilitation Loan Program that assists qualifying homeowners with low-interest or no-interest loans will be available.
DelDOT’s Liveable Lawn display features ideas on how to landscape using containers and native plants. Designed and developed by Jules Bruck, associate professor of landscape design and Sue Barton, associate professor of horticulture at University of Delaware, the landscape demonstrates how to minimize fertilizer and pesticides and use native plants in your own yard. Also, stop by DelDOT’s “Plantopia” and “Save the Yard,” interactive touch-screen games that help you chose native plants and discover the many benefits of native plants for wildlife. The games were designed and developed by the students of University of Delaware’s Associate Professor of Art Troy Richards and Professor of Computer Sciences Terry Harvey.
The ever-popular Division of Fish and Wildlife’s wild animal display is back again, featuring fish, northern bobwhite quail, canvasback and wood ducks, and turkeys. Take a walk through the Habitat Room and get a close-up look at a variety of wildlife species found in Delaware. Designed to imitate several of Delaware’s natural habitats, the room takes visitors through a small-scale tour of the state from the bay to inland forests and millponds. Adults and children of all ages will enjoy this wildlife viewing opportunity and discover the aquatic life of Delaware’s waterways.
Walk the Boardwalk Arcade for games that test your knowledge of the environment. Play “The Good, the Bad and the Beneficial Wetlands” game, build a wetland model and learn how wetlands help purify and replenish groundwater, reduce flooding and provide a multitude of services for our health and well-being. Challenge your knowledge of recycling by playing the “Is-it-Recyclable-or-Isn’t-It” toss and answer questions about Delaware’s water quality in the “Environmental Jeopardy” game. Check out the exhibit featuring anti-idling information and the campaign underway encouraging Delawareans to turn-off their engines to improve air quality and protect our health. Hop on the power-generating Energy Bike to see how much “people-power” you can generate that reduces your carbon footprint and improves the environment.
The black-eyed susan flowers were grown by Brendan McClanahan, a student of Susan Wujtewicz’s environmental science class at Polytech High School in Woodside. Evan MacGuinness of Leon’s Garden World supplied the native trees and plants located throughout the Green Living exhibit.
For more information on DNREC, visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov.
Vol. 42, No. 262
DNREC - Getting Ready for the Fair! video
DNREC Counts Down to the Fair! video