DNREC building at fair displays ‘cool’ exhibits

Hands-on fun has a new, renovated look at the DNREC building at the Delaware State Fairgrounds.
Gov. John Carney, DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin and other dignitaries were on hand Thursday an hour after the fair officially opened its gates for the 2019 season.

They cut the ribbon to official open the renovated space.
“One of the most important things for DNREC is communication and being able to communicate the environmental stresses that we have in the state and natural resources and the recreation that we offer,” Sec. Garvin said. “… One of the best places in Delaware to get information now is (at) the Delaware State Fair.”

And, the DNREC building is now air conditioned, he noted.
A cost estimate for the renovations was not available from DNREC as of Friday afternoon, according to Michael Globetti. He said DNREC staff were still working on the finishing touches right up until the ribbon cutting event.

Investments made to the building included a new HVAC system and ceiling fans to improve the air flow inside. That allows for a comfortable visit as fairgoers view the new fish tanks and other amenities.
Other displays allow visitors to experience nature firsthand and DuPont Nature Center has touch tanks of their own featuring horseshoe crabs and other local wildlife.
“What’s great about this space and what we have done here is that it’s really flexible and allows us to do, instead of having 10 days of the same thing, we’re able to introduce new things each day,” Secretary Garvin said.
Gov. Carney said he was impressed by the work done at the building.
“Those of us who are elected and appointed officials take an oath of office that says something like we respect the right of future generations to enjoy the rich and historic and natural heritage of our state and that’s exactly what the Delaware State Fair is all about. And that’s exactly what this building, this new building. . . is all about, as well,” he said.

Visitors have already taken notice to the changes found inside the newly renovated building.
“I like it. I like that it has more things that you can touch instead of just looking at,” Laney Dixon of Milton said.
Kate Perry, also of Milton, said with a laugh, “I personally like the air conditioning the most.”

Events throughout the fair to be held at DNREC’s building include a duck and goose calling contest, worm exploration, bluebird box building, storytime and visits from costumed interpreters with historical activities.
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resentations will be given from a variety of local groups such as Brandywine Zoo, Delaware Native Plant Society, Friends of Killens Pond State Park, Fort Miles Historical Association and DuPont Nature Center to name a few.

Admission to the DNREC building remains free. It will be open daily during the fair from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Staff Writer Jennifer Antonik can be reached at jantonik@newszap.com.

If you go:
Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control staff will host a number of programs at their state fair headquarters through the event that ends Saturday, July 27. The following events are planned this weekend:
Saturday, July 20
• Noon – 6 p.m. Aquatic Ecosystems! Learn about the unique ecosystems of Delaware’s Piedmont and Coastal Plain! (From White Clay Creek and Lums Pond State Parks)
• Noon – 6 p.m. Duck Decoy Demo! Duck decoy carving by Harold Van Dyck (Theater back room)
• Noon – 4 p.m. Duck, Duck, Goose! Show your skills in DNREC’s Duck and Goose Calling Contest! Registration: 10:30-11:45 a.m. (Hertrich Plaza in front of the Grandstand)
• Noon – 6 p.m. Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park (DNREC Partner Booth)
Sunday, July 21
• Noon – 3 p.m. Bringing the Zoo to You! Meet a few of the residents of Delaware’s very own zoo and learn about where and how they live. (From the Brandywine Zoo)
• Noon – 6 p.m. Delaware Native Plant Society (DNREC Partner Booth)

Reach staff writer Jennifer Antonik at jantonik@newszap.com

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