Whale made of plastic bags dominates NW Outdoors exhibit

For visitors to the Washington State Fair looking for something more than scones or elephant ears, the NW Outdoors exhibit offers a bit of the outdoors.

New this year will be “ A Sensational Cetacean: The Plastic Whale Project.” The exhibit features a 32-foot gray whale made from more than 9,000 plastic bags and other plastic trash.

The education exhibit focuses on the impact of plastic bags have on the environment and encourages people to reduce their use of plastic bags. The Plastic Whale Project is a collaborative project between four organizations and students at 18 schools in Thurston County. The whale made its first appearance in Olympia’s Procession of the Species in April 2013.

Painted on the skin of the “whale” is a map of the Pacific Ocean and Great Pacific Gyre, also known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” The other side of the whale is a skeleton made of disposable silverware.

The exhibit also contains jellyfish costumes made out of plastic bags.

Sticking with the marine creature theme, FIN the salmon will be on display outside the Building Froday-Sept. 14. Fair visitors can climb inside the 25-foot salmon and view a painting of a watershed, offering an interactive lesson on salmon habitat.

If your children prefer their fish to be smaller, but more active, stop at the trout pond. Trout fishing (for children ages 12 and younger), as well as target shooting, and snowshoeing, will take place Fridays-Sundays from noon-6 p.m.

The NW Outdoors building holds exhibit dedicated to the responsible use and conservation of natural resources, as well as encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors in Washington, said Karen LaFlame, fair spokeswoman.

More than 25 agencies will be on hand to provide information and activities on topics including conservation, state parks and Mount Rainier.

The fair runs through Sept. 21.