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July 24, 2012

WEST ALLIS—If it's August in West Allis that means it's time for the Wisconsin State Fair, and for more than 60 years the Natural Resources Park has provided fair visitors a bit of respite from the hustle and bustle of the Midway, cream puff lines, animal barns and exposition hall hawkers.

Located on the southwest corner of the fairgrounds, the Natural Resources Park offers fair visitors a mix of family-friendly activities where they can learn more about Wisconsin's fish, forests and other natural resources through live displays, and participate in hands-on activities that are fun for all ages.

"We really love having people visit us in the Natural Resources Park. Our staff looks forward to it all year and is eager to talk about our resources and our work. We especially hope to interest kids in Wisconsin's wonderful outdoors, a great place for fun year around," said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp. "Visit our state park at the fair! We're looking forward to seeing you!"

Again this year, the department will focus on youth with the National Archery in the Schools program activity area. Kids and adults of all ages and physical abilities will use state-of-the-art equipment to learn about the sport of target-style archery.

A traditional State Fair activity for many families is T-shirt printing at the Natural Resources Park activities tent. Coordinated by the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program, each day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Artists of all ages can decorate a T-shirt or other piece of material. The printing is free. T-shirts and reusable tote bags are available for $5 or you can bring your own.

In the south building, a variety of Wisconsin fish species will be on display at the aquarium exhibit. Fisheries staff will be available to answer questions and provide information on Wisconsin's premier fishery and offer casting lessons each day from 3 to 5 p.m.

People wondering what it would be like to work for a nationally recognized environmental and natural resources agency can stop by the career booth in the North Building and talk with staff about careers with the DNR.

Havenwoods State Forest will transport some of their resident reptiles and amphibians to the fair. Visitors can spin the Wondrous Wildlife Wheel and answer questions on Wisconsin's wildlife and learn about places to go to observe and appreciate the diversity of life.

These are just a few of the highlights that you will find at the Natural Resources Park at the 2012 Wisconsin State Fair. The fair opens Thursday, August 2 through Monday, August 13. More information is available on the Wisconsin State Fair website (exit DNR).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Marcus Smith, DNR Southeast Region public affairs - 414-263-8516 or Paul Heinen, DNR state fair coordinator - 608-266-2120

Last Revised: Tuesday, July 24, 2012

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