DNR news releases, July 31, 2014

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MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #57                                                                               July 31, 2014
All news releases are available in the DNR’s website newsroom at www.mndnr.gov/news.
Follow the DNR on Twitter @mndnr.

IN THIS ISSUE
Celebrate outdoor traditions at DNR exhibit at 2014 Minnesota State Fair
DNR State Fair exhibit fact sheet
New and improved wayside welcomes North Shore visitors

 

DNR NEWS - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Celebrate outdoor traditions at DNR exhibit at 2014 Minnesota State Fair

A wide range of free educational exhibits and presentations, including several new activities and displays, along with music and entertainment, will be part of the Department of Natural Resources’ exhibit at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair, which runs Aug. 21-Sept. 1.

"The DNR building and surrounding park area is often the traditional first stop for many fairgoers," explained Renee Vail, who helps coordinate the DNR exhibit. “Minnesotans are passionate about our natural resources and this is an effective and entertaining way for us to help everyone celebrate our outdoor traditions.”

Featured topics include state parks, ATVs, fishing, hunting, birds, bees, DNR K-9 unit, campfires, aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, forestry, lands and minerals, moose, boat and water safety, laser fire extinguishing, prairies, biking and wildlife.

Highlights of the DNR exhibit include:

Historic DNR building
The DNR’s historic State Fair building is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. The log structure is the centerpiece of the DNR’s exhibit and also serves as a landmark, a meeting place and a must-visit educational and entertainment destination, where generations of fairgoers have created life-long memories.

Displays inside the building cover a wide range of natural resource topics including fish, watersheds, aquatic invasive species, rocks and minerals, state lands, forests, trails and parks.

See photos of DNR building. (www.dnr.state.mn.us/statefair/dnr_building.html).

DNR fish aquariums
The indoor fish exhibit underwent a major renovation in 2013 and now features five large aquariums inside the main DNR building. Each tank shows fish in their native Minnesota habitat: trout of southeastern Minnesota; fish of the St. Croix River; and species of central, southern and northern Minnesota lakes. The aquariums are built lower to the ground, making it easier for more guests to see the fish, turtles and other species.

DNR outdoor fish pond
The outdoor fish pond, on the south side of the DNR building, is stocked with about 45 different species of fish ranging from sunfish to paddlefish, walleye to bass.

Call of the Moose Minnesota
Moose in Minnesota are in trouble. A 50 percent decline in the moose population since 2010 has left the iconic Minnesota animal in real danger of disappearing. The Call of the Moose Minnesota campaign aims to advance awareness of the plight of the moose and to raise funds for moose research and management. Finalists of the Let Loose Your Minnesota Moose – Moose Calling Contest will perform their calls on the DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage on Friday, Aug. 29.

Adopt-a-River sculpture
This is the 21st consecutive year an Adopt-a-River sculpture has been on display. The sculpture will be created from trash and scrap collected by an artist in mid-July at an Adopt-a-River cleanup in St. Paul. The sculpture is a tribute to more than 90,000 volunteers who have removed more than 6 million pounds of trash from public waters at more than 3,200 cleanups. The sculpture is located in DNR Park, south of the DNR fish pond.

Invasive species exhibit
Visitors should be on the lookout for emerald ash borers, purple loosestrife, zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil as they walk along a recreated prairie trail, conduct a watercraft inspection or visit an imaginary state forest campsite in a display inside the DNR building. People can practice using a boot brush to remove invasive plants, learn where zebra mussels might hide on a boat, and find out why they shouldn’t move firewood. Through interactive activities and an informational video, people will learn how invasive species threaten the natural resources and recreational activities, and how to prevent their spread.

DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage
A variety of groups will offer demonstrations and music on the DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage.

DNR conservation officers will demonstrate how their patrol dogs detect wild game and fish hidden out of sight, apprehend people, and conduct a special demo on finding the invasive species zebra mussels on items.

Explore the history of wilderness ethics with Bigfoot and Leave No Trace Minnesota when a fur trader meets modern backpacker on the DNR stage.

The Raptor Center at University of Minnesota will educate people about raptors they see in their own back yards.

Last Chance Forever – The Bird of Prey Conservancy of San Antonio, Texas – will have live bird demonstrations.

Musical acts include: Ali V, Bill and Kate Isles, Bitter Ridge, BLT Band (Bill Lommel and Troop), Darlene and the Boys, Ecuador Manta, Joe Meyer Band, Overland Band, Peter Neuman and the Real Deal, Roxxy Hall Band, The Red Rock Swing Band, The Roe Family Singers. Ring of Fire: The life and music of Johnny Cash – Plymouth Playhouse.

For more information, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/events/statefair/index.html.

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DNR NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                         July 31, 2014

DNR State Fair exhibit fact sheet

DNR Building

  • Historic DNR building at State Fair is celebrating 80th anniversary this year.
  • The building opened Sept. 1, 1934, and is 186 feet long by 66 feet wide and 40 feet high.
  • About 500,000 people visit the DNR building and surrounding park area each year.
  • Building cost $73,000 (almost 10 times the net profit of 1934 State Fair).
  • Gate tickets in 1934 cost 25 cents. Today, a regular adult admission ticket costs $13. Funding came from federal and state emergency relief administration and State Fair funds.
  • Civilian Conservation Corps erected the building in less than six months using machined logs.
  • DNR building open daily during State Fair from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

DNR Aquariums

  • DNR completely renovated its indoor fish exhibit last year, installing five large aquariums inside the main DNR building.
  • Each tank shows fish in their native Minnesota habitat: trout of southeastern Minnesota; fish of the St. Croix River; and species of central, southern and northern Minnesota lakes.
  • Aquariums are built lower to the ground, making it easier for more guests to see the turtles, fish and other species.
  • Combined aquarium capacity of more than 5,000 gallons of water, the same amount of water the average family of four uses in a month.
  • When full, tanks weigh about 118,000 pounds or about the weight of a juvenile Right whale.
  • Project cost about $460,000, using funds from the legislative bonding bill appropriated to the DNR to maintain facilities and assure they are safe and accessible.

DNR Fish Pond

  • The DNR’s live fish exhibit is one of the State Fair’s most popular attractions.
  • Outdoor fish pond holds about 50,000 gallons of water.
  • Outdoor pond is kidney-shaped and is about 100 feet by 50 feet.
  • This year’s exhibit is expected to display about 45 species of fish that call Minnesota home.
  • One of the most popular fish with fairgoers is the paddlefish. Characterized by its long, paddle-like bill, the paddlefish is found in the lower Mississippi River below Minneapolis. Paddlefish grow to be quite large, with fish up to 200 pounds being recorded. The paddlefish is a state threatened species.
  • The largest fish in the exhibit is the lake sturgeon, which exceeds 50 inches. A State Fair veteran, this specimen was the gift of an angler who harvested it legally from the St. Croix River several years ago. Lake sturgeon in Minnesota are found in the Mississippi, St. Croix and Rainy river systems.
  • Fish pond talks by MinneAqua program specialists take place at quarter to the half daily, from
    9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

State Park Camper Cabin

  • A state park camper cabin model is on display, it’s 24 feet by 12 feet.
  • Cabins are built to provide a “camping out” experience within the comfort of four walls.
  • Cabin has two sets of bunks allowing accessibility for a wheelchair.
  • Camper cabin includes a picnic table and a fire ring with grill.
  • There are more than 80 camper cabins available to rent in state parks and recreational areas located throughout the state.
  • Most cabins are available to rent year-round. Most have heat and electricity. Cabins rent for about $50 per night.
  • Camper cabin display model open during the State Fair from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily. Located in DNR Park, near southwest corner of DNR building.

DNR Fire Tower

  • Was specifically built for State Fair to provide a wildfire prevention message to visitors.
  • Fire tower opened in 1966 and was closed in 1978 because of safety concerns.
  • Fire tower was repaired and reopened in 2006.
  • Fire tower is 65 feet tall.
  • There are 84 steps from bottom to top.
  • There is no charge for people to climb to fire tower stairs to get birds-eye view of fair.
  • Tower open daily during fair from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., weather permitting.

DNR Wildlife…Forever Wing

  • Fairgoers can learn about Minnesota species and wildlife habitat.
  • Special sound and lighting effects help create an experience of moving from day to night and through the four seasons, as visitors walk through the display.
  • Display located in DNR building and is open daily during State Fair from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Adopt-a-River Sculpture

  • This is the 21th consecutive year that an Adopt-a-River sculpture has been on display.
  • Each year, a new sculpture is made from trash and scrap collected by an artist at Adopt-a-River cleanups on Minnesota waterways.
  • Sculpture is a tribute to more than 90,000 volunteers who have removed more than 6 million pounds of trash from public waters at more than 3,200 cleanups.
  • Sculpture is located in DNR Park, south of the DNR fish pond.

Smokey Bear

  • Smokey Bear is celebrating 70 years of reminding children and their parents about the dangers of wildfires.
  • Smokey Bear makes daily appearances at DNR Park at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      July 31, 2014

New and improved wayside welcomes North Shore visitors

The family of Ray Berglund, a St. Paul businessman who cared passionately about conservation, has been keeping his memory alive at the state wayside named after him on Lake Superior’s North Shore. Over the years, donations from the R.R.W. and Florence Berglund Family Foundation have funded several improvements to the 54-acre site, but restroom facilities remained an unmet need, until this summer.

Today, representatives of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Berglund Family Foundation celebrated the opening of a new building that includes public restrooms and information for travelers.

“The site is well-used by cyclists, anglers and other visitors, but neither the DNR nor MnDOT had funding for restrooms at this location,” said Mark Kovacovich, DNR Parks and Trails Division district supervisor. “The Berglund Family Foundation’s donation is helping us provide these much-needed facilities and will be a welcomed amenity for people who use this site.”

The Ray Berglund State Wayside is located at the mouth of the Onion River on Highway 61, just north of Tofte in Cook County. Following Berglund’s death in 1948, friends contributed to a fund for the purchase of the land, which was deeded to the state in 1949 and established as a state wayside by the Minnesota Legislature in 1951.

In 2009, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reconstructed Highway 61 in the Onion River area, which included redesigning and rebuilding the wayside’s parking area and constructing a section of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail (www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_trails/gitchigami/index.html) – a paved multi-purpose recreation trail –through the wayside.

Previous improvements at the wayside included a stairway to connect the parking lot to the wayside, overlooks of Lake Superior and trail upgrades that were funded by the foundation and the Lake Superior Coastal Resource Program.

For a map and more information about the eight state waysides managed by the DNR, visit www.mndnr.gov (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/waysides/index.html) or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 651-296-6157 (Twin Cities) or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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