Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New DNR forestry exhibit to debut at State Fair

The forestry exhibit in the historic Department of Natural Resources building at the State Fair has been updated this year. New interactive displays convey how Minnesota's forests provide a wide range of natural, cultural, economic and recreational opportunities.

"Minnesota's forests are vital to our economy, environment and quality of life," said Forrest Boe, DNR Forestry Division director. "The new exhibit provides a modern view of forestry in Minnesota."

The exhibit is designed to mimic a walk in the woods and contains five 15-foot-tall trees with interactive displays. The trees feature information on forest stewardship, Minnesota's four biomes, urban forests, forest products and wildfires.

Exhibit highlights:

  • Learn what foresters do, and handle some of the tools foresters use to take care of forests such as an increment borer and drip torch.
  • Pull and lift pieces of a log puzzle to see how dimensional lumber fits together.
  • Experience the sounds and sights of a prescribed burn while exploring the wildfire tree.
  • Become familiar with products made from Minnesota trees.

"This exhibit is for everyone," said Boe. "Kids will have fun flipping flaps to learn about forests and spotting forest critters, while adults will enjoy identifying products made from Minnesota trees."

The public is invited to attend a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of the exhibit Thursday, Aug. 27 at 9 a.m.

The exhibit was designed by Split Rock Studios, a Minnesota-based company. Redesign planning began in 2013. The exhibit cost $200,000 and was supported by state and federal funds.

More updates are coming over the next three years, including exhibits on trees and clean water, forest recreation, and a wall of tree cookies from Minnesota trees.

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