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2019 marked Reusapalooza’s seventh year at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Courtyard during the Iowa State Fair. At Reusapalooza, fairgoers are offered the opportunity to create upcycled, take-home projects made from materials rescued from the landfill by the Iowa Waste Exchange. Projects are selected that appeal to children and adults alike and offer opportunities for all skill levels.
This year, due to the generosity of Great Rivers Regional Waste Authority (GRRWA), Rocky Recycler from Paw Patrol (a children’s program on Nickelodeon) was onsite to interact, educate and entertain fairgoers. At the request of Shelly Codner, Area Resource Specialist and organizer of the annual event, Mike McKnight of GRRWA donned the Rocky custome. Based on observations, traffic and the huge smiles on the faces of the children and adults in attendance, Rocky was wildly popular.
In addition to interacting with Rocky, fairgoers participated in making dog tug toys, they could take home for their own pup to enjoy or they could leave onsite for donation and distribution to Puppy Jake Foundation or Forever Home Dog Rescue. Participants also made Iowa magnets and CD wall art and participated in an activity to identify items that Rocky could use in his pup pack to help recycle. Items were placed in see-through plastic containers and hidden in plastic pellets, ground from recycled milk jugs within the containers. Participants learned ways to prolong the life of everyday materials and were encouraged to look around the DNR Courtyard to identify park amenities and other items that were manufactured from recycled materials, including benches and picnic tables placed throughout the venue.
This year, with the assistance of other IWE Area Resource Specialists, DNR staff members and volunteers, 520 projects were completed onsite. Since the inaugural year of the event nearly 3,000 projects have been completed.
For additional information regarding Reusapalooza, contact Shelly Codner, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information on the Iowa State Fair visit www.iowastatefair.org.
For additional information regarding the Iowa Waste Exchange and other programs available through the Financial and Business Assistance section visit www.iowadnr.gov/FABA.
For additional information and instructions for upcycled projects visit www.pinterest.com/iowadnr/ to access the Iowa Department of Natural Resource’s Pinterest page.
Photos are available at: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1opua7Z5XfKtSdNtweIEsxYPUBvmBxPae