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News.bytes Extra, issue 490

America's Great Outdoors outreach at the California State Fair, week two

a girl in a butterfly mask searches tree branches for bird replicas to complete her "bird bingo" card
A young visitor in a hand-colored butterfly mask from one of the activity tables, scans tree branches for bird replicas to complete her "bird bingo" card.

Lots of visitors have dropped by Discovery Island at the California State Fair this week, to help celebrate America's Great Outdoors. Department of the Interior agencies -- the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation and National Park Service -- are joining together this year, to showcase California’s dramatic landscapes, amazing wildlife, majestic reservoirs, rivers and waterways.  The kid's activities tables have been busy with fun and learning, and special visitors such as bats and a great horned owl have attracted new fans.

a smiling woman holds an owl as a mother and young child look on
A guest from Sacramento's Effie Yeaw Nature Center shows Jamus, the great horned owl to a young visitor and her mom.

a girl reaches for paint for her fish print, as her parents and a volunteer look on
Volunteers to the BLM and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service watch a young visitor hard at work at the "fish print" (Gyotaku) table.  Helping the youngsters produce their fish prints is a labor-intensive and sometimes messy task.

a smiling woman holds a temporary tattoo in place on a boy
Temporary tattoos are a hit with the young set (and some older ones).  Waiting 30 seconds while the moistened tattoo "set" was the hardest part.

Youngsters sit at the make-a-mask table
Coloring and cutting out butterfly or eagle masks: young visitors ran through the first supply of 3,000 masks, sending U.S. Bureau of Reclamation volunteers back to print more.

Many children and their parents in the kids' activities area
Other tables in the Youth Activities Area let young visitors make water cycle bead bracelets, identify natural items by touch, color in nature coloring books and try to identify various types of animal scat.

A map display and a condor puppet
Visitors to the interagency exhibit are greeted by information from each of the agencies, including this condor puppet used in raising young condor chicks.

- photos by Erica Szlosek, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 7/20/11

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Last updated: 07-27-2011