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 main attraction each year is the wrap-around aquarium in the center of the building. (Remember, counter-clockwise works best.) On your lap around the interior, you’ll see the kids’ archery range and stations with park rangers, conservation rangers and other staffers fielding questions about their specialties. Keep your eyes up and you’ll spot the taxidermist’s mount of the cougar, shot last year in a backyard a couple miles from the fairground. Licenses and Iowa Outdoors magazine subscriptions are on sale, too.
Each Friday, the theme centers around fishing. On Saturday, the 10th, the DNR’s Healthy and Happy Outdoors (H2O) program gets the call. The new program is aimed at getting Iowans outdoors; especially in Iowa’s state and county parks and wildlife areas. Participants can register their activities online and be eligible for outdoor-themed prizes. A drawing for two of those packages will be on that day.
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, prairie, a water bottle filling station, 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 (2013 Iowa State Fair 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
Iowa State Fair Summer Recipes 2013
-Spicy Turkey Burgers
-Fresh Corn Salsa
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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.