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Get Ready for “Camp-In Kickoff,” May 1-3

  • 4/28/2020 3:23:00 PM
  • View Count 4887
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DES MOINES ⎯ Iowa state parks invite you to celebrate Camp-In Kickoff by enjoying the outdoors your way this weekend.

Typically, the first weekend in May marks the launch of the annual camping season for Iowa state parks through dozens of events and programs across the state. With 2020 as the centennial year, the DNR still hopes to celebrate this annual tradition, despite event cancellations and a delay in campground openings due to COVID-19.

To take part in Camp-In Kickoff, here are ways you can enjoy the outdoors either at home or by safely visiting a state park with just your family. All these ideas can be found on the web page:

  • Camp in your own backyard or your living room! Set up a tent, start a bonfire, cook some s’mores and have fun! Post your family photos to social media or to the DNR’s Facebook page with the hashtags: #IowaDNR #IowaStateParks or #IowaStateParks100
  • Find coloring pages, a scavenger hunt, and fun videos to share with your family about Iowa state parks at The coloring pages include an owl, deer, camping scenes and more, and were drawn by Paula Streeter, an artist in the 20 Artists, 20 Parks program.
  • If you visit a state park this weekend, participate in the “Find Peace, Pick Up a Piece” challenge. Bring a trash bag and gloves with you and help pick up litter, then dispose of it at home in the spirit of “carry in, carry out.” Many spring clean-up events have been cancelled in state parks, so we appreciate your help!

“We greatly appreciate our parks visitors and can’t wait to see them later this season,” said Todd Coffelt, chief of state parks bureau for the DNR. “Until then, we are thinking of you and are getting parks ready for the camping season. Enjoy the outdoors with your family during Camp-In Kick-off in the way that is safest and fun for you.”

Please remember that if you visit state parks, wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and bring supplies from home including disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and other hygiene products. Also please stay home if you feel sick.

You can visit the DNR's COVID-19 web page for more information about how COVID-19 is affecting DNR events, facilities and services.