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Over 1,000 students visited Murray County Fairgrounds for annual Environmental Fair

October 4, 2012

September 26th and 27th
On September 26th and 27th the Murray County Fairgrounds were filled with fifth and sixth grade students. The annual Southwest Minnesota Association of Conservation Districts Environmental Fair invited schools from Adrian, Brewster, Chandler Christian, Clarkfield Area, Comfrey, Edgerton, Ellsworth, Fulda, Hendricks, Hills Beaver Creek, Immanuel Lutheran, Jackson County Central, Lake Benton, Lakeview, Luverne, Mountain Lake, Murray County Central, New Ulm, Southwest Star Concept, Springfield, St. Mary’s, Worthington, St. Paul’s Lutheran, Fulda, Windom, Worthington Christian, Worthington Public and Yellow Medicine East. In all over 1,120 students attended fair over the two days t learn about the environment through hands-on activities. Environmental awareness is using our natural resources was brought to the students through presentation by educators from various agencies and institutions.

Margie Anderson, Minnesota Extension Service, was one of the presenters sharing information about how the glaciers helped to form the rich farmland and lakes of Minnesota. The three glaciers that made their way through Minnesota included the Nebraskan, the Kansan and the Wisconsin. According to Anderson, a ‘lobe’ of the glaciers affected Minnesota. She also commented to the students that the average glacier actually moved two to four inches a year.

Anderson then challenged the students to go back to their classrooms and imagine that a glacier encompasses and will move three inches a year. The challenge is to figure out how long it would take to get from one wall to the next.

She concluded by having them imagine her large cooking pan was a map of Minnesota. In doing so, Anderson talked about each of the parts of Minnesota and how the glacier affected each of the areas of the map. The Duluth area has lots of rock while the rest of northern Minnesota is made up of forests.

She illustrated the movement of the glacier with a square of ice cream placed on the map and moved the ice cream down the pan showing how the glacier left behind. Anderson put graham cracker crumbs on the ice cream to depict dirt and chocolate chips as rocks. She explained that when it got to what we call the Minnesota River, the glacier stopped and actually regressed forming the Glacial River Warren and is basically the same channel used by the Minnesota River today. River Warren's channel was much wider than the Minnesota River is today. It was up to 3 miles wide and 200 feet deep. Anderson talked about the large hills near Mankato.

Anderson concluded her presentation by sharing her ice cream glacier with the students in attendance.

Randy Schindle, DNR Wildlife, was in the next building over talking about tree identification and the importance trees are as a natural resource.

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