The last three annual Environment Forums have been panel discussions for those in the environmental sciences — department people, NGOs — discussing “higher level” issues.

For this year, on Saturday, April 17, the Department of Environment minister’s office decreed that it be open and accessible to everyone.

Now called “the Environment Fair”, organizer Deborah Turner-Davis says it is a family-friendly day of hands-on activities.

“All of the exhibitors have stepped outside of the trade show format and come up with creative interactive events,” she says.

Yukon Wildlife Preserve, for instance, will have a lot of “touchy, feelie stuff”. And there will be draws and games and displays that show a good camp, and a bad camp.

These exhibits will be set up on the Canada Games Centre’s Atco Ice Surface.

On the Leisure Ice Surface, there will be a different presentation every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“They’ll be talking about what happens to red squirrels during climate change and getting ready for floods,” says Turner-Davis.

“And The Story of Stuff is a really engaging story of stuff from creation to disposal. It’s about consumerism and waste and longevity.”

The event is being held in the International Year of Biodiversity, during Biodiversity Month and is five days before Earth Day. The theme is “Biodiversity in Your Back Yard”.

An Environment After Hours will be held at the Beringia Centre featuring Dr. Wade Davis. Free tickets are available at the Environment Fair.

The entire event is free and can be enjoyed for a few minutes or few hours.