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July 31, 2013

DNR Brings the Great Outdoors in at the Maryland State Fair

by Martha

StateFairCitizens and visitors will once again discover the beauty and wonder of Maryland’s great outdoors at the 132nd Maryland State Fair, through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) interactive exhibit. DNR Staff and volunteers will be hosting visitors at the fairgrounds in Timonium from August 23 through Labor Day, September 2, Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“From Natural Resource Police officers to foresters, and everyone in between, our knowledgeable staff will be on hand to share with you and your family all of the great things our agency is up to, showcase some interesting wildlife, and answer any questions you may have,” said DNR Secretary Gill.

The DNR “tent” (it’s actually a building and, yes, it’s air conditioned!) includes exciting, interactive activities, live animals, and information on everything from fishing, hiking, camping and State Park adventures to boating and hunting safety.

Visitors will also learn about DNR’s new Youth Fishing Club, the Color Maryland Green art contest, invasive species and volunteer opportunities. To help create a smarter, greener more sustainable future, citizens will learn how planting even one tree can help protect air and water quality, raise property values and save money on energy – and receive a $25 coupon to get started. Everyone is encouraged to stop by to see the agency’s water safety mascot, PFD Panda, who will be taking pictures and giving children free Rita’s Ice coupons.

Some highlights of the DNR exhibit at this year’s fair include:

  • The Maryland Park Service will display live birds of prey and native Maryland reptiles, through the Scales and Tales program.
  • Young people will learn more about connecting with their natural world through science, new experiences and volunteering, as part of Maryland’s Children in Nature initiative. The 2013-2014 Maryland Bay Game activity book will also be available.
  • Maryland State Park Rangers will share stories about family adventures in State Parks and the best hikes, water trails, campsites and secrets these areas have to offer.
  • Aided by a fish tank with common native species, Fisheries Service staff will inspire anglers of all ages to enjoy this time honored recreational tradition.
  • Citizens can continue to plant and be counted through the Marylanders Plant Trees program and obtain a $25 off coupon to plant a tree from the Maryland Forest Service.
  • Natural Resources Police officers will provide tips on boating and hunting safety.
  • Wildlife & Heritage staff will showcase information on Marylands predators from carnivorous plants to canines.  In addition, they will have information on outdoor programs for men, women and children, including Becoming an Outdoors Woman, Maryland Natural Areas, Junior Hunting Field Days, Project WILD and Wild Acres.

The Maryland State Fairgrounds is located at 2200 York Road in Timonium. The DNR building is next to the 4-H Home Arts facility. Visit www.marylandstatefair.com or call 410-252-0200 for more information.

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