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The Eco Experience is a project of the Minnesota State Fair and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The Eco Experience is a part of the agency’s dedication to achieving three important goals:
- Encouraging Minnesotans to buy more green products and services
- Providing support for Minnesota businesses to produce green products or provide green services by eliminating the use of environmentally harmful substances
- Helping Minnesotans attain and act on environmental knowledge to support healthy ecosystems.
A green event. To “walk the talk,” the Eco Experience includes many green practices and features including: recycling stations by every door; non-vinyl banners (instead we use 100% post-consumer recycled Ecophab, paper, woven polyester fabric, or Tyvek); EPEAT-rated computers (gold) and monitors (silver); and two large rain gardens to capture rainwater off the roof of the Progress Center. Along with great educational content, such attention to detail has helped the Eco Experience exhibit earn several awards for innovation and excellence.
The success of the Eco Experience has been recognized by several different organizations, including two of the world's largest fair and exposition trade groups.
2014: Guinness World Record Holder for the largest wad of paper
2013: Minnesota State Fair People's Choice Award for Best Attraction
2010: Excellence in Renewable Energy Award from the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society for the most significant contribution by local government.
2007: Gold Quill Excellence Award in business communication from the International Association of Business Communicator's (IABC) . The IABC Gold Quill Awards are the mark of global distinction and is the highest level of professional acknowledgement within business communication today.
2007: The Environmental Initiative Award in the environmental Education category, from the Minnesota Environmental Initiative.
2006: The Western Fair Association honored the Eco Experience with two awards: Best New Non-Competitive Exhibit, and their highest honor, the Merrill Award, awarded to the program that most demonstrates outstanding vision and leadership.
2006: The International Association of Fairs and Expositions recognized the Eco Experience with an Award of Excellence for the best new Fair and Partner Joint Exhibit Program.
2006: MnGREAT! Award acknowledging environmental achievements by government employees in the areas of pollution prevention, toxicity reduction, waste reduction, energy conservation, water conservation, recycling and composting.
Related: Emmons & Olivier Resources, exhibit partner and coordinator of the "Sustainable Front Yard" inside the Eco Experience, was recognized with the 2007 Environmental Excellence Award by the Minnesota Erosion Control Association, which acknowledged the profound environmental impacts of their efforts at the Eco Experience and other recent projects.