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 News from the ICP
Pathway to Water Quality celebrates 20 years today at the Indiana State Fair
For release Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Pathway logo Indianapolis - Today  Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development joined the Indiana Conservation Partnership (ICP), State Fair officials, and volunteers to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the Pathway to Water Quality exhibit.


According to Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and member of the Partnership, 20 years ago the northeast corner of the fairgrounds was just an old parking area.


Hardisty and other Indiana conservationists were instrumental in bringing this exhibit to the fair after it debuted at the 1992 Farm Progress Show held in Columbus, Ind.  Remembering that event, Hardisty shared that Vice President Dan Quayle visited the Show and toured the exhibit. Hardisty said, "It was a very exciting and no one will forget that day as the former Vice President walked through the small scale watershed built especially for the show."   

As part Pathway's 20 year anniversary celebration and re-dedication, the front pond was restored as a model to show land owners what can be done using native plants in or near
a water feature. 

In 1993, Pathway to Water Quality opened here at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Since then thousands of youth and adults have taken the path of the water drop through a model watershed that includes both rural and urban land uses and educational messages behind every display. 


"The idea behind Pathway is to explore the many ways people can do simple things every day to improve water quality," Hardisty added. 


Present today were the leaders of Indiana's Conservation Partnership, Pathway Steering Committee members, and a number of volunteers that have developed and cared for the exhibit throughout the years.    


Ellspermann recognized and thanked the many organizations and volunteers for their dedication and service prior to cutting the ribbon to dedicate the newly restored front pond at the exhibit.  The pond was restored this year as part of the celebration. 


A special group of individuals and businesses that made the restoration project possible were recognized by the Lt. Governor and ICP leaders during the ceremony: Sue Gerlach, Indiana State Department of Agriculture; Mike Warner, ArborTerra, Consulting Inc.; Jim Blazek, D2 Land and Water Resource; Kevin Tungesvick, Spence Restoration Nursery; Chip Wickham, Aquascape; Linda Proffitt, Global Peace Initiatives, Inc.; Marion County Master Gardeners; and Fred and Joan McAninch, The Rig Doctor.


Pathway to Water Quality is open daily at the Indiana State Fair from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.

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Becky Fletcher, State Public Affairs Specialist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, 317-372-9153


DeeDee Sigler, Communications Manager, Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, 317-431-6098  

Indiana Conservation Partnership

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