The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will host various environmental display and activities at this year’s Delaware State Fair, set for July 19-28 at the Delaware State Fairgrounds, 18500 S. Dupont Highway, Harrington.
Under this year’s theme, “DNREC — Your ECOnnection,” DNREC’s displays link visitors to environmentally-friendly programs and ideas. Fairgoers will find information and activities from DNREC’s divisions and programs. Featured this year at the fair: DNREC’s Energy House and an interactive watershed display demonstrating how water flows and wetlands hold water that includes a 3D map of stormwater runoff from a suburban yard draining into Delaware’s wetlands, rivers, streams, bay and the ocean. Fair visitors also are invited to play DNREC’s scavenger hunt game for discovering eco-friendly facts about Delaware that can be found within the DNREC building and to pick from a wide range of prizes after their “hunt.” Visitors also can “get a charge” from DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal & Energy’s mobile solar panel display and charging station, known as T-Rex, located in front of the DNREC Building, on July 19-24.
Meanwhile, the DNREC On Stage theater will offer a preview of programs from parks, nature centers and other facilities statewide owned and operated by the Department’s Divisions of Fish & Wildlife, Parks & Recreation and Watershed Stewardship.
Fairgoers can learn more about the science behind the work DNREC does in protecting the environment and Delaware’s natural resources. DNREC’s building includes displays, hands-on activities and educational games. At DNREC on Stage, in the building’s air-conditioned theater, attendees will also see live animal shows and presentations ranging from maritime history to geology to Delaware’s unique plants and animals. DNREC’s building is located on the fairgrounds’ East Rider Road — admission is free and the building is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily during the fair.
The DNREC on Stage Schedule includes:
— Build Your Own Horseshoe Crab: Noon to 3 p.m. July 19. Kids of all ages are invited to color and create their own model of a horseshoe crab and learn more about these unique aquatic creatures. From the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve.
— Creating Power through Natural Resources: Noon to 3 p.m. July 20. See how water creates power by watching a steam engine in action, then create a pinwheel to harness wind and make energy. From Auburn Heights Preserve.
— Wacky Worms: Noon to 3 p.m. July 21. Learn about the lives of worms and why they are important, by exploring worms up close with hands-on activities. From Bellevue State Park.
— Geology Rocks: 3 to 6 p.m. July 21. See the difference between a metamorphic rock and an igneous rock. Magnifying lenses, magnets and minerals are all part of the hands-on experience. From White Clay Creek State Park.
— Bringing the Zoo to You: Noon to 3 p.m. July 22. Meet a few of the residents of Delaware's Brandywine Zoo and learn about where and how they live.
— Travel back to the Civil War days: Noon to 3 p.m. July 23 (Seniors Day). Interpreters in period costume invite children to play games and try on period costumes, then march in children’s infantry drills. From Fort Delaware State Park.
— Beach Comes to the Fair: 3 to 6 p.m. July 23 (Seniors Day). Live horseshoe crabs and other beach creatures travel inland to DNREC's fair building to meet visitors. From Cape Henlopen State Park.
— Horseshoe crabs and skins, scat and tracks: Noon to 3 p.m. July 24 (Kids Day). Two programs about Delaware's resident living fossil, the horseshoe crab, and a close-up look at identifying animals by their tracks, scat and skins. From the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve.
— Experience colonial games and toys: 3 to 6 p.m. July 24 (Kids Day). Costumed interpreters invite visitors to play games and check out toys from Colonial times, on the DNREC building’s porch. Also, get a close-up look at one of DNREC’s environmental Emergency Response Team vehicles. From First State Heritage Park.
— Creatures and history of Indian River Inlet: 3 to 6 p.m. July 24 (Kids Day). Participants will learn about the history of this dynamic waterway, its role in maritime history and how it impacts the local ecology of Delaware’s inland bays. From Delaware Seashore State Park/Indian River Life-Saving Station.
— Animal adaptations: Noon to 3 p.m. July 25 (Armed Forces/Military Appreciation Day). Discover how animals adapt to an urban environment through hands-on activities with park naturalists. From Alapocas Run State Park/Wilmington State Parks.
— Join DNREC’s Volunteer Olympics: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 26 (Governors Day/Senior Day). Get a taste of some of the volunteer opportunities DNREC offers by competing in games including beach grass planting and horseshoe crab counting, with prizes.
— DNREC awards at Mann Tharp Pavilion: 1 to 2 p.m. July 26 (Governors Day/Senior Day). DNREC’s Young Environmentalists, Youth Fishing Tournament winners, Wetland Warriors, Volunteers of the Year and DNREC photo contest winners will be recognized.
— Meet DNREC's Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police: 2 p.m. July 26 (Governors Day/Senior Day). See a special presentation by one of the specially-trained K-9 teams in the theater room. Also, get a close-up look at a DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resource Police vehicle and marine patrol vessel outside from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
— Who's in the Bay Today?: Noon to 3 p.m. July 27. Learn about aquatic species that live in the Delaware Bay and meet some up close, From the DuPont Nature Center.
— Reptiles and amphibians of Delaware: 3 to 6 p.m. July 27. Meet the often-unnoticed creatures that crawl, hop, swim and slither in Delaware’s wetlands, woods and waterways. From Killens Pond State Park.
— How Does Your Deer Measure Up?: 4:30 to 9 p.m. July 27. Learn how Boone & Crockett’s white-tailed deer scoring system works, see some examples of mounted record-holders and get evaluated on the DNREC Building porch.
— Wildlife in the Park and in Your Backyard: Noon to 3 p.m. July 28. Meet a few local animals and explore different pelts and skulls of animals found in locally.
For more, visit dnrec.delaware.gov.