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Eco Experience
An exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair

image How will I get rid of it? Before you buy, consider the options. It all has to go somewhere!
image Daily cooking demonstrations. These chefs cook with local food and prepare dishes that you can handle, too. Samples included!
imageSustainable Broadway. The stage is our space for shows and demonstrations. Experts, leaders in sustainability, and youth presenting on their solutions and ideas.
image Native plants for beauty, ease, and water conservation. Landscaping that can reduce mowing and watering. See installations and talk to plant experts at the Eco Experience.
image Recycle MORE. Minnesotans throw away 6 of every 10 aluminum cans, wasting resources and money.
image Electric vehicles charged with solar power. Charging with renewable energy helps reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
image Chemistry impacts our lives. Students from the University of Minnesota explain how green chemistry and engineering are reducing toxicity and waste in product development.
image The historic Progress Center goes green. The Eco Experience occupies the Progress Center building, built in 1907—and constantly being improved!
Permeable pavers let stormwater through. Let the water soak in. Permeable pavers for patios, sidewalks, and driveways. At the Eco Experience you can talk to a professional and make plans for your yard.
What can bugs tell you about water quality? What lives in the water? This exhibit provides an up-close look at the insects that tell us our lakes are healthy and safe.


The Eco Experience is a huge exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair, filled with hands-on activities, demonstrations, and resources. The annual event is open during the 12 days of the Minnesota State Fair. This year's dates are August 21-September 1, 2014.

The Minnesota State Fair's history in agriculture, food, arts and crafts, innovation, and youth projects are kept alive in this environmentally themed building. Highlights include:

Renewable energy. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Minnesota Renewable Energy Society, and Windustry are teaming up to provide information about energy efficiency, solar, wind, and ground-source heat.

Architecture and eco-design. The University of Minnesota's College of Design is embarking on a community-based eco-design project in spring 2013. Students will advance their knowledge of energy/space-efficient design and environmentally sustainable materials and methods of construction. The Gen Y Eco Home design will be displayed in exhibit form at the Eco Experience.

Lakes, streams, and drinking water. Minnesota's 12,000 lakes and rivers are special to all of us and are part of a watershed. A new 15-foot aerial map of St. Paul will guide your exploration of a watershed. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Health, Blue Thumb - Planting for Clean Water, and Hamline University's Center for Global Environmental Education will bring a full suite of exhibits to teach you and your kids about this precious resource.

Landscaping. Agriculture, water conservation and protection, and community-building come together in the design of our lawns and landscapes. Field Outdoor Spaces will install an intimate space filled with local food, trees, chickens, and space to gather with friends.

Healthy, local food. You can sample dishes made from Minnesota ingredients and find more ways to use whole foods from our state. Renewing the Countryside brings cooking demonstrations, local farms, and local distributors here for you to meet.

Can we talk recycling? Even with recycling, Minnesotan's still throw away more than 700 thousand tons of paper every year. That's equal to 40 pounds of paper tossed in the garbage every second! All this paper could be recycled or composted. Stop by the Eco Experience to see a visually stunning paper exhibit. You'll learn why recycling and composting is important and how it helps create local jobs. Yes, we can recycle more!

Old and new materials, each good in their own way. The era of single-use and toxic materials is on the way out. The U of M Center for Sustainable Polymers will explain how green chemistry and engineering are reducing toxicity and waste in manufacturing. ReUse Minnesota will demonstrate the opportunities in our state to repair, share, and reuse everyday items. 

Movies and presentations. The Sustainability Stage is our little place for shows and demonstrations. You'll find experts, leaders in sustainability, and youth presenting on their solutions and ideas.

Urban trees. Climate change impacts in Minnesota are prominent. What can we do?  One reaction is to plant or care for urban trees. They can help us slow and adapt to climate change.  Learn why, what, and how at the Eco Experience.

Did you stop by last year? Look for the organizations and products you saw on the Green Crossing and Partners pages.

Questions? Contact Britt Gangeness, Eco Experience Coordinator, at 651-757-2262.

Last modified on Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:42

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