The following press release was initially published on April 10, 2019 via the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
State of Iowa Invites People to Explore Iowa’s Outdoors with “99 Counties, 99 Parks” Campaign
April 22, 2019 (Sioux City) – The State of Iowa announced today the launch of its new effort encouraging residents and visitors alike to explore Iowa’s outdoors. The “99 Counties, 99 Parks” initiative, rolled out on Earth Day during an event at Sioux City’s Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, highlights the wide array of recreational activities the state has to offer within its county parks.
“Iowa’s county parks are great places to feed your sense of adventure,” said Governor Kim Reynolds. “We have an abundance of natural beauty in this state, and we’re thrilled to issue an invitation for people to experience it first hand. I know my family will be outside exploring all the county parks have to offer this summer, so I hope my fellow Iowans and visitors to our state will will join us.”
The “99 Counties, 99 Parks” initiative features one county conservation-managed park in each of Iowa’s 99 counties. In addition to traditional activities like fishing, boating and hiking, the list includes parks with golf courses, archery ranges, disc golf courses, observation towers, eco-cruises, Olympic-sized swimming pools and luxury cabins. Individuals are encouraged to visit traveliowa.com/99parks to browse parks by interest (or view all 99) and find the parks that best fit their needs.
“We’re excited to expand awareness of our amazing county parks system,” said Tom Hazleton, CEO of Iowa’s County Conservation System. “Most people don’t realize the state has more than 1,800 county parks encompassing nearly 200,000 acres. We annually welcome about 24 million visitors, but we’re looking forward to hosting even more people this summer!”
“In addition to being beautiful, our county parks play an important role in Iowa,” said Governor Reynolds. “Research shows that natural beauty and outdoor activities are key qualities in places where individuals want to travel or live. We think the ‘99 Counties, 99 Parks’ initiative is another great way to help spread the good word and surprise people about Iowa.”
Families are encouraged to download the “99 Counties, 99 Parks” Family Fun Guide. Available on the “99 Counties, 99 Parks” website, the guide features a variety of activities, including recipes, a scavenger hunt and art projects as well as information on geocaching and creating nature sculptures.
Participants can track their visits to the featured parks on the “99 Counties, 99 Parks” checklist. Many of the parks also include “selfie stands” where visitors can take photos and share their experiences on social media using #ThisIsIowa or #99parks.
To read more about Iowan economic development projects, click here.