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The purpose of the fair is to: 

Bring individuals and resource specialists together;

Create a respect and concern for our natural resources for everyone who attends

Promote stewardship through wise management of natural resources.

Would you Like to Volunteer?


Dedicated residents from throughout the county, representing lake associations, civic groups, and sportsmen’s clubs assist with running the fair.


 Local foundations and trusts, civic organizations and groups, lakeshore associations, and a variety of local, state, and federal agencies support the fair. Expenses have ranged from $2,000 to $5,000 and vary mainly with the cost of presentations.


Featured presentations have included birds of Aitkin County, an area historian, and statewide attractions such as the Raptor Center, Loons by the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Great Lakes Aquarium, and International Wolf Center.


A wide variety of local, state, and federal agencies along with lake associations and watershed groups provide informational booths

Planning Committee

A planning committee consists of the University of Minnesota Extension Service Aitkin County, Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District, Minnesota DNR, Aitkin County Environmental Services Office, county lake associations, and citizen volunteers.


The Rivers and Lakes Fair began in 1997 when the University of Minnesota Extension Service, Aitkin County, identified the need to expand the understanding of water quality impacts. There was a clear need for residents and visitors to better understand water quality issues. The foundation of the fair was the Shoreland Research and Revegetation Project.
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