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Exploring, fishing, outdoor adventures and more! If you like being outdoors, this project area is for you. Do you want to make the earth a better place to live? Hiking, camping, backbacking can lead to exciting outdoor adventures.

What you might do in Environment:

  • explore natural and manmade environments
  • learn how we affect the environ­ment and how it affects our lives
  • solve environmental problems
  • investigate greenhouse effect on living organisms
  • reduce and manage waste at home and in the community
  • calculate your ecological footprint

What you'll do in Natural Resources:

  • build a miniature ecosystem
  • plan and build an indoor wildlife habitat
  • do a splash erosion experiment
  • develop habitat improvement plan
  • conduct a soil percolation test
  • design a landscape using trees
  • plan a day hike and pack a backpack
  • assemble a basic first aid kit
  • learn “Leave No Trace” ethics

What you'll do in Outdoor Camping:

  • learn ways to purify water
  • tie various knots
  • plan a menu and necessary food supplies
  • use a map and compass
  • develop an emergency procedure
  • adopt “Leave No Trace” principles

What you'll do in Fishing:

  • tie fishing knots
  • practice casting a lure
  • organize a fishing tackle box
  • identify types of fish in your area
  • learn state fishing regulations
  • make artificial flies and lures
  • build and use a kick net

What you'll do in Wildlife:

  • identify species of wildlife
  • match wildlife to their habitats
  • observe wildlife behavior
  • study wildlife population changes
  • learn about migration

State Fair Exhibit Rules

Each county may submit 5 entries from 50256, 50257, 50258, 50259, 50260, 50261, 50262, 50263, 50264, 50265, 50266; 1 entry from 50267.

Electricity and water are NOT available for these displays. NO live animals or reptiles are permitted in these exhibits.

50256    Natural Resources 1

Exhibit any item or display developed from the project book, Step Into Nature.

50257    Natural Resources 2

Exhibit any item or display developed from the project book, Explore the Natural World.

50258    Natural Resources 3

Exhibit any item or display developed from the project book, Blaze the Trail.

50259    Outdoor Adventures 1-3

Exhibit a display illustrating an activity completed from the project manual.

50260    Sportsfishing 1

Exhibit a product or display made to complete an activity in the Take the Bait project manual. This could include, but is not limited to, displays on: different types of fishing tackle, identifying different baits and their uses (no actual bait, please) or identifying the anatomy of a fish. For safety reasons, lures must be placed in a plastic case.

50261    Sportsfishing 2

Exhibit a product or display made to complete an activity in the Reel in the Fun project manual. This could include, but is not limited to, displays on: different types of knots or rigs and their use; a collection of fishing lures, labeled with their use; or information on preparing and cooking fish (not recipes). For safety reasons, lures must be placed in a plastic case.

50262    Sportsfishing 3

Exhibit a product or display made to complete an activity in the Cast into the Future project manual. This could include, but is not limited to, displays on: making artificial flies and lures; researching effects of water temperature; sportsfishing careers; or identifying insects that fish eat. For safety reasons, lures must be placed in a plastic case.

50266    Wildlife A

Exhibit any activity developed from the project manual. (Ex. Identify different wildlife habitats.) Within the exhibit, explain the importance of knowing the information shared.

50263    Wildlife

 Exhibit any activity developed from the project manual. (Ex. Create a display of the life history of an animal.)  Within the exhibit, explain the importance of and concept behind the exhibit.

50264    Natural Resources/Sportsfishing/Wildlife Innovation Class

Open to youth who were at least 13 years of age on 9/1/16 and are enrolled in any Natural Resource, Sportsfishing or Wildlife Project

Demonstrate the skills and knowledge you have gained through the project you have studied. Your exhibit should not fit in the other exhibit options for this project. This could be related to, but not limited to habitat construction, maintenance, water quality, fish biology, or involvement with citizen science efforts. The exhibit may include, but isn’t limited to, original works, objects, demonstrations, digital presentations, programs, websites, games, apps, performances, or posters which you have made. Choose whatever method best shows what you’ve learned. Your exhibit should not fit in the other exhibit options for this project. You must furnish any equipment you need for your exhibit. Internet service will not be provided for the exhibit. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation, which will remain on display during the exhibition. Electronic equipment will only be used during your personal judging time and will not remain on display during the entire exhibit period.

50265    Natural Resources Clover Challenge

Open to 15- to 18-year-olds enrolled in the Natural Resources Clover Challenge Project who have completed Natural Resources 1, 2, 3.

Exhibits in this category should go “above and beyond” what the 4-H project books cover and should represent an accumulation of years of project study. The exhibit may include, but isn’t limited to, original works, objects, demonstrations, digital presentations, programs, websites, games, apps, performances, or posters which you have made. Choose whatever method best shows what you’ve learned. You must furnish any equipment you need for your exhibit. Internet service will not be provided for the exhibit. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation, which will remain on display during the exhibition. Electronic equipment will only be used during your personal judging time and will not remain on display during the entire exhibit period. The completed Illinois 4-H Clover Challenge Agreement must be presented with the exhibit.

50267    Natural Resources Ready4Life Challenge

Open to 11- to 18-year-olds enrolled in any Natural Resources project

Exhibits in this category must include the following: a) a physical representation of the career or business product such as a model, prototype or display/portfolio that includes images of accomplished work; b) verbal or written explanations that demonstrate knowledge of the related career or business fields, potential careers, and the appropriate requirements for achievement in those fields. The judging criteria for this class values thoroughness of career and/or business exploration and pursuit above the workmanship of the physical specimen on display.,