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Summer 2020

The Long Road to Places of Quiet Beauty
A voice in the 1890s desired to save remaining natural areas after earlier settlers affected habitat, land and species on an unprecendeted scale. See why, a century ago, Iowa dedicated its first park to emerge as a national leader in the state parks movement.
Story by Brian Button

Parks Inspire Art
To celebrate Iowa’s state parks centennial, 20 artists visited 20 parks to immerse in nature’s inspiration. Their varied works in paint, textiles, wood and audio match the diverse lands and experiences found in Iowa’s beauty.
Story by Michael Morain, Iowa Dept. Of Cultural Affairs

Wildlife Camps
Unintended, good consequences of summer camps at state parks have spurred entire families to camp for the week versus kids going solo. Come along to see why families, kids and park are winning combinations.
Story by Maddie Koetting, Photos by Haley Knudsen

Wonders of White Pine Hollow
At Iowa’s largest stand of majestic white pines, it’s becoming harder for pine seeds to reach the soil and survive long after germination. Discover why invasive garlic mustard and shade-tolerant sugar maples could permanently change the landscape here without help.
Story by Haley Knudsen

Lake Wapello Beginnings
For this DNR writer, the creation of Lake Wapello State Park carries three generations of family memories stretching nearly a century, starting with her grandfather—the park’s first manager.
Story by Karen Babcock Grimes

A New Take on Retro
Drawing inspiration from 1930s-era posters, this West Des Moines artist adds a modern touch while creating Iowa state park posters to celebrate the centennial.
Story by Haley Knudsen

Outdoor Skills
Social distancing has many heading outdoors alone. Find out the surprising body- and brain-boosting benefits of solo time outside, from creativity and deeper thought, to better photos and discovering more on the trail.

Since water in rain is odorless, find out the mix of fragrances truly responsible for the “smell of rain.” Learn about new digital park passports and see if it’s fact or fiction that earliest sunrises and latest sunsets occur on the summer solstice.

Notes from the Field
For park staff, “place attachment” is the powerful bond to the lands where they not only work, but live with their families. See why staff work to foster similar deep bonds for hikers and campers.

Flora and Fauna

The vibrant red and blue colors of the candy-striped leafhopper are eyecatching. Look fast. When threatened, this tiny insect can leap 40 times its body length in a split-second.

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