Department of Natural Resources brings nature education to Ohio State Fair

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources challenged kids throughout the 12 days of the State Fair to get down and dirty while learning about water quality with their new scenic sensory pool.

“One of the great things about our Office of Scenic Rivers is that they have a stream quality monitoring program where you can get your hands dirty and get in the river to find bugs, and it tells you the health of a river,” said Jason Fallon, with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

“Nature in general interests me and this is the first time I’ve seen something like this at the fair and it was really cool and interesting,” said fair-goer, Amanda McBride.

Fans flocked to Smokey the Bear as he said his final goodbyes for the year.

“Smokey somehow comes alive, I think it’s the eyes. He scans a person and he can tell how old they are,” said Lily McBride.

This year ODNR wanted fair-goers to enjoy the traditional features of the nature park, like hanging out with Smokey, but also introduced new educational learning activities. Like learning about monarch butterflies in the butterfly garden, to fishing and even picking up the skill of archery.

“We have a new archery and air-gun range we can take ten kids each at a time and it is something fun for the kids,” said Fallon. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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