New for 2012:
This year, visitors can test their knowledge of Iowa's state parks for a chance to win one of the $100 Sportsman’s Warehouse gift certificates offered each day.
Be sure to check out the display of entries in the inaugural fly tying competition, sponsored by the Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association. The entries will be judged on the DNR courtyard stage at 4 p.m., August 13.
- Chef Patrick from Honey Creek Resort State Park will join the Courtyard Stage this year, cooking up some samples off the resort’s menu.
- Check out the options for the cover of the 2013 Iowa Outdoors calendar issue, then "Like" the DNR's Facebook page at facebook.com/iowadnr and cast a vote for your favorite!
The DNR’s historic aquarium, pavilion and courtyard, located at the west end of the State Fair Grand Concourse, draw thousands of visitors each year during the Iowa State Fair.
The aquarium, built in 1921, is filled with Iowa fish species and the focal point of the open-air pavilion built around it. Inside, visitors are able to try interactive displays and hands-on activities, touch live reptiles and amphibians and shoot a bow at the archery range. Conservation officers and other DNR staff are on hand to answer questions related to natural resources and the outdoors and then be sure to stop and get your subscription to the Iowa Outdoors magazine.
Outside the west gates of the building is a pond full of waterfowl and turtles -- a magnet to fairgoers of all ages. The courtyard also features a full-size replica of a bald eagles nest, recently renovated prairie, a water fountain, picnic tables, benches and plenty of shade.
The mobile education exhibit along the north courtyard fence helps visitors learn how to make simple, everyday behavior changes inside their homes to help protect and improve the environment outside.
David Williamson, sculptor from Ogden, turns “trash into treasure” each fair weekend in the courtyard. Williamson uses metal trash collected from the DNR annual river clean up event, Project AWARE, to create sculptures and most recently to create gates for the pavilion.
Presentations are given daily on the courtyard stage (2012 Iowa DNR Courtyard Schedule), including live animal talks and cooking demonstrations. The DNR “tweets” stage schedule reminders to its followers on Twitter.
Iowa DNR Dutch Oven Recipes
Includes: Venison Stuffed Tenderloin, Teriyaki Pheasant Appetizers, Barbeque Ranch Turkey Rolls, Herb-Crusted Duck Breasts, Herb-Crusted Venison Medallions, Bacon Wrapped Venison Roast, Beer Bread, Baked Chicken and Garlic Potatoes and Triple Fudge Brownies
- Additional Iowa DNR Dutch Oven Recipes
How to Build and Install Your Own Rain Barrel
Poster: 10 Reasons Why Kids Need to "Take it Outdoors"
Historic Photo Interactive Mapping Site
- Users may choose the year they would like to view by selecting "Basemaps" at the top of the page. Users can also turn section boundaries on/off by selecting "Map Layers" on the left hand side of the page and checking or unchecking the different layers.