Pieces of metal pulled out of Iowa waterways in cleanup programs will be turned into a sculpture during this year’s Iowa State Fair. Merry Rankin of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says they made their first river junk sculpture last year. She says they had an artist from Ogden assist them as they used blacksmith forges, melted down some aluminum and did some sandcasting of aluminum shapes. She says they do the same thing this year. Rankin says much of the metal comes from the recent cleanup of the Little Sioux River. She says they collected three tons of metal from the river along with glass, plastic, wood and other stuff. She says most of the material is recycled in some way. Rankin says the sculpture has a purpose.She says the sculpture commemorates the water resources in the state and how “vital and important they are to us.” She says the sculpture also commemorates all the volunteers who help clean up the water resources. Rankin also hopes the sculpture sends a message about the things we throw away. She say at some point the material was looked at as garbage. She says when they build a sculpture, the things get a new life and show people there’s another option for the things they throw away. Rankin says they’ll work on the sculpture both weekends of the fair.
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