Iowa State Fair’s Discovery Garden offers a peaceful place to explore

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DES MOINES, Iowa — In all the hurry of the Iowa State Fair, there is one spot which offers some tranquility, and a place for kids to explore, all in one stop. The Discovery Garden is located right outside the Agriculture Building.

“We’ve been involved here with the fair for about 30 years now, we probably have a team of about 50 people who manage this project,” said Patrick Schmitt, of the Polk County Master Gardeners. “This is our water feature which is a pond we have plants, are actually growing right in the water, over here in the stream these are just plant plugs that are sitting in the water the same as these elephant ears that’s just a bulb that sitting in the water.”

“I was interested in something I could volunteer in the community,” said Karen McGregor, of the Polk County Master Gardeners. “I love being outdoors, I love gardening.

The Discovery Garden features a small stream of water with goldfish, that’s popular with kids, as is the tunnel.

“I want show you our tunnel, this is going to be probably one of the most popular things for families and their children,” said McGregor. “We have a tunnel, it’s 100 feet through it it’s covered it’s a trellis it’s covered with hyacinth beams.”

The garden requires a lot of work. People who are into gardening can get Master Gardener training through their local County Extension office. That’s how you can get on a team of 50 or so people to help maintain this garden and a couple of others located in the Des Moines metro area.  

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