The Pathway to Water Quality exhibit at the Indiana State Fair is celebrating its 25th year of educating Fair visitors about conservation. It is quietest place on the Indiana State Fairgrounds; and each year thousands of Fair visitors take a stroll through the trees, get a cold drink of pure well water, and learn a little bit about the environment and how farmers and consumers can protect our soil and water. State Conservationist Jane Hardisty said the Pathway exhibit started from very humble beginnings 25 years ago, “In 1993, this was a parking lot; but, over the years, it has become an amazing exhibit.” She added the design was based on an exhibit that was built at the 1992 Farm Progress Show near Columbus, IN. Work on the original State Fair exhibit and the continuing improvements to the site have been made by volunteers from all of the members of the Indiana Conservation Partnership.
This year Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch took her first walk along the tree-lined paths of permeable concrete, enjoyed a cold drink of water, and viewed the displays on how farmers protect the land and water and on what consumers can do to improve the environment. “It was just an amazing experience,” she told HAT. “Since here at the Fair most of our visitors are from cities and towns, this gives them a real life opportunity to experience how they impact our world and our state.”
Each year something new has been added to the Pathway. This year it is a green roof made up of over 2,000 plants growing in just 6 inches of soil. The Pathway to Water Quality is located on the east side of the Fairgrounds. Each day of the Fair the exhibit is manned by volunteers from the various conservation partnership organizations who are on hand to answer questions about the exhibit and conservation.