Article Posted: August 02, 2000

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LANSING--Families and children of all ages will have the
opportunity to experience Michigan's natural wonders first-
hand when they visit the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources Pocket Park at the 2000 Michigan State Fair.
A green oasis within the Fairgrounds, the two-acre Pocket
Park, which made its successful debut in 1998, tempts
families to have fun while exploring outdoor adventures
typical of Michigan's world-class natural resources.
"The Pocket Park is a substantial effort to bring Michigan's
hunting, fishing and outdoors heritage and opportunities to
the residents of our state's largest urban area," said DNR
Director K.L. Cool. "Through this exhibit, we hope to
encourage families and individuals to visit our state parks
and forests, learn more about fishing and hunting, and seek
out more ways in which they can participate in Michigan's
great outdoors."
During last year's Michigan State Fair, more than 150,000
people had the opportunity to catch a fish, practice their
shooting skills at the archery and pellet gun ranges, see
live birds of prey and participate in a number of hands-on
activities especially aimed at children.
More than 15,000 people--kids and adults--gave fishing a try
at the 17-foot-deep, mitten-shaped pond. Stocked with 5,000
hybrid sunfish, the pond provided nonstop fishing action all
day long. "There were times when the kids were averaging
more than a fish a minute," said fishing instructor Ken
Dodge, the DNR's Urban Fishing Coordinator.
Nearly 14,000 kids and adults also passed through the pellet
gun and archery ranges. Many had never held a gun or bow.
"Giving these kids a chance to shoot a gun or a bow, takes
the mystery out of it," said Sgt. Larry Sargent, DNR
Conservation Officer and Hunter Education Field Coordinator.
"They'll have less of change of getting in trouble with them
later on--the mystery is gone."
The DNR Pocket Park will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 8
p.m. during the 14-day run of the Fair. The 2000 Michigan
State Fair, August 22 through September 4, is open daily, 10
a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults, $2 for children
11 and under, children under 2 are free. Parking is $5. The
DNR Pocket Park is located on the Fairgrounds near the Big
Stove, and admission to the Pocket Park is free once you pay
the State Fair admission fee.
For more information on the daily schedule of activities
planned for the DNR Pocket Park, visit the DNR Web site at

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