Snapshots from State Fair

Water quality takes center stage at the Iowa State Fair when you visit the Conservation Station. Dogs, ducks, a rain machine, watershed game, poo, shuffleboard, prizes… what’s not to love?!   It’s all free. And fun. And educational!

While the Poo Shuffle has big curb appeal, visitors to the Conservation Station must “earn the poo” by first completing one of our educational lessons.  There are multiple options to choose from:


THE WATERSHED GAME – hands-on fun to learn all about watersheds and how pollution works


THE RAIN MACHINE – yes, we make it rain!

… or visitors can step inside the (air-conditioned!) LEARNING LAB and check out the “What’s In Your Water?” display. Each of these games/lessons is focused on water quality, and includes both agricultural and urban components. We’re all in this together, and everyone has a role to play!

Then visitors are invited to get in line and compete in the POO SHUFFLE…   It’s a head-to-head competition where visitors learn about the connections between pet waste and water quality, while trying out their shuffleboard skills and competing for some fabulous prizes!


Dog poo meets shuffleboard in the POO SHUFFLE!

Did you know? 40% of Americans do not pick up their dogs' feces.

Did you know? 40% of Americans do not pick up their dogs’ feces.


Did you know? 1 gram of dog waste (mass of a paper clip) contains 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. If not picked up and disposed of, that poses some serious challenges to water quality!

The Conservation Station offers fun for all: urban and rural, young and old alike…


Love this little guy on his tiptoes to catch all of the action in the watershed game!


… and some of them aren’t even walking yet! You’re never too young to start learning about conservation!

Day 1 of the 2015 Iowa State Fair was a huge success!  While we always talk to large numbers of visitors at the Fair, yesterday was exceptional – our numbers at the Conservation Station were up 60%+ from opening day in 2014.

As Carol mentioned in her State Fair Time blog post yesterday, the Conservation Station is located in Farm Bureau Park, directly east of the Varied Industries Building and south of the Grand Concourse.  Look for the big blue Conservation Station trailer, Conservation Pack dog cutouts, and Iowa Learning Farms/Water Rocks!/Iowa State University Extension and Outreach flags.  You can’t miss it!

Make conservation a part of your visit to the State Fair – we have fun games and activities for all. A big shout-out to Jim and Jody Kerns and their whole crew for being the first Iowa Learning Farms farmer-partners to stop by the Conservation Station at this year’s fair!

Ann Staudt

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