The Environmental Fair is a gathering of students in the 5th and 6th grade from an 11-county area. This 2-day event provides fun filled days learning about the world around us through demonstrations and student participation. Some of the topics covered include; trees, native prairies, ground and surface water, soils, wetlands, watersheds, wildlife and much more!

Educators and presenters are from local county SWCDs and watershed gorups, such as RCRCA, as well as the Science Musuem of Minnesota, Minnesota Zoo, Prairie Ecology Bus Center, University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Department of Resources, Federal staff of the local Natural Resources Conservation Services.

2016 Environmental Fair at Slayton, MN - Redwood-Cottonwood Rivers Control Area - Shawn Wohnoutka presented a live demonstration addressing water quality in our watersheds to approximately 386 students. The demonstration included the stream table model which represents a typical watershed with rural and urban sources of pollutants. Within the watershed model, there are several examples of potential sources of pollution as well as sources of protection to keep pollutants from entering the watercourse. The model shows firsthand how the erosion changes the river physically. The students are asked to identify out each potential pollutant or protection source within the model  while Shawn describes its relationship to water quality.  After this discussion, the stream table is put into action and the students watch the water flow and witness the erosion and damages that occur.  The students anticipate what will happen when the floodwaters arrive and really enjoy seeing the streambanks, bridge, animals and other items impacted or washed away with the water.  At the end of the demonstration, the students rebuild the river and watershed for the next class..  Of course, being able to set up the watershed with potential casualties is always a hit. This year we held a drawing for RCRCA insulatied bottles during each class to help emphasize the importance of clean water. Please see the photo album for more pictures and contact Joy if you would like to see more than on the website. RCRCA has also posted pictures by class on our Facebook page, please check it out  - https://www.facebook.com/redwoodcottonwoodriverscontrolarea/. 

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2015 Environmental Fair at Marshall, MN – RCRCA had approximately 335 students visit our display and learn more about watersheds, water pollution, erosion and some steps to prevent pollution to our waters.

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2014 Environmental Fair - RCRCA had 275 students visit our display of a stream table. Shawn speaks about different kinds of pollution and what can protect our land and water. The stream table is an excellent way to see the effects that erosion has on our rivers and land. It is hard to visualize the damage that a river can do when it takes place over a long period of time. The stream table shows in 3-8 minutes what would happen over a period of 30 years or more. The students get an opportunity to shape up the river and get the model ready for the next class. I'm not sure which they enjoy more - the erosion causing things to land in the river or building the river back up. 

 

 

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