The Conservation Station is coming to the Story County Fair

Staff Writer
Tri-County Times

Water Rocks! and Iowa Learning Farms present the Conservation Station — a mobile learning center that educates audiences of all ages about the importance of healthy soil and clean water. It will be stopping at the Story County Fair on Monday, July 25, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Visitors to the Conservation Station can learn how everyone can do their part to help preserve and protect soil and water — essential natural resources. The free, fun, hands-on activities and demonstrations for kids and adults teach about watersheds and the effects of rainfall on the land. A popular activity is the “Poo Toss,” where participants try to throw rubber doggy poo into wastebaskets for prizes and learn why picking up animal waste is a good thing. The Ducks Learning Lab provides a self-guided tour that shows what would happen if rain drops were rubber ducks.

The Conservation Station’s rainfall simulator offers a strong visual of how land management choices affect soil and water. It demonstrates the effects of rainfall on different surfaces in agricultural and urban environments. Water runoff and subsurface drainage are collected in clear jars to show what is coming off the various soil surface types, including tilled soil, cover crops, green roofs and pervious pavement.

Since 2010, the Conservation Station has traveled to every county in Iowa for community festivals, county fairs, field days, farmers’ markets and school visits. Visit the Water Rocks! website to see the schedule of Conservation Station appearances and to request a visit for an event: www.waterrocks.org.

Water Rocks! is a unique, award-winning statewide youth water education program that fosters the interplay of knowledge, caring and engagement among Iowa’s youth. Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of conservation practices. For more information about Water Rocks!, visit www.waterrocks.org; and for Iowa Learning Farms, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf.