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State Park Passport recognized by America’s State Parks national organization

  • 12/22/2020 1:32:00 PM
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RALEIGH, N.C. – The National Association of State Park’s Directors (NASPD) has recognized the Iowa State Park Passport for extraordinary achievement among people, projects and programs in managing state park systems.

NASPD awarded the State Park Passport with a Presidential Award for Corporate Partnership, honoring the leadership and innovation of Travel Iowa and Bandwango working alongside the Iowa DNR to create the successful passport program, especially engaging park visitors safely during the national pandemic.

The free digital passport, created to mark the 100th anniversary of Iowa State Parks, encouraged Iowans to discover new state parks and enjoy the outdoors, plus provided discounts to restaurants and tourist attractions near each state park. Since June 2020, more than 13,000 travelers checked in more than 25,000 times. Travel Iowa is part of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, helping to drive Iowa’s tourism efforts. Bandwango is a travel technology platform that connects people to places.

“America’s state parks and the people who visit them are the prime beneficiaries of the outstanding contributions from these organizations and individuals,” Lewis Ledford, NASPD executive director, said. “Taking just a few moments to recognize and thank them for their efforts is the least we can do when evaluating all they have done to improve the quality of life and recreational opportunities in their communities.”

The award was presented at the NASPD annual conference, Dec. 9 - 10. The conference of parks and recreation professionals was held virtually this year to share best practices in park management.

The NASPD works to promote and advance America’s State Parks for their significance and contributions to the nation’s environment, heritage, health and economy. For more details visit: