DNR Virtual Fair

Learn about the DNR's COVID-19 response and how the current health emergency is impacting DNR facilities, services and events.
Virtual Iowa State Fair Fun, DNR Style!

Welcome to the DNR’s virtual state fair! We know you love visiting the DNR building at the Iowa State Fair every August. Since we can’t be together this year, we are bringing the state fair to you each day, with daily themes centering around the 100th anniversary of Iowa state parks!

Enjoy the state fair?
Check back daily for new, fun ways to enjoy the virtual state fair every day, August 13 -23, 2020.


Sunday, August 23, 2020 - Volunteerism
volunteerism

Iowa state parks Statewide Volunteer Day takes place each year the third Saturday of September. Watch for updates on the DNR’s Parks 2020 page for how you can participate.

Thanks for enjoying the Iowa State Fair virtually! We can’t wait to see you next year!

volunteer

magazine and tshirt special
Saturday, August 22, 2020 - History and Culture
lend a hand

Iowa PBS is a strong voice and supporter of Iowa state parks, highlighting their history and value to quality of life in Iowa. Check out their state park programming:

In 2020 Iowa PBS produced three episodes of Iowa Outdoors about the state park centennial:

Iowa State Park History, Trails:

Iowa State Park Artists:

Iowa State Parks by Air:

Check out this short video giving a flavor for trails in Iowa’s second oldest state park, Lacey-Keosauqua, and find several other Trail in a Minute videos.

Limited offer during August! Get the annual “state fair magazine special” right here! Subscribe to a one-year subscription of Iowa Outdoors magazine and get your state fair t-shirt. Learn more https://programs.iowadnr.gov/epay/subscription/fairspecials.

magazine and tshirt special
Friday, August 21, 2020 - Healthy Lifestyles
healthy lifestyle


Check out our picks for “best parks” for some of your favorite outdoor recreation experiences.

Best Iowa State Parks for hiking, adventuring and more

best parks

Find trail maps and resources for state parks and across Iowa.

Explore Iowa river trails safely with these online resources.

Explore Iowa with the State Park Passport – sign up to track your park visits and the opportunity to win prizes.


parks passport sign up
Thursday, August 20, 2020 – Welcoming Place for Everyone

Each year at the state fair, the DNR shares introductory fishing, hunting and shooting sports through archery demonstrations and more. Here’s several online resources to start your outdoor skill journey:Welcome Place


Discover opportunities and resources to help you get started hunting and shooting, or to build your skills and knowledge. Check out www.iowadnr.gov/letsgohunting.

If you want to participate in hunter safety this fall, visit www.iowadnr.gov/huntered to discover the best way to complete a mandatory certification course.

lets go hunting

National Shooting Sports Month celebrates target shooting, a pastime that provides a lifetime of enjoyment. You can share your passion with family and friends through the #RangeChallenge. Join the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Iowa DNR during the month of August to promote firearms safety, participation, and mentorship in the shooting sports. For more information visit: letsgoshooting.org/rangechallenge

Download the range challenge target.

Visit one of Iowa's shooting ranges, now open! Find a shooting range near you: https://www.iowadnr.gov/hunting/places-to-hunt-shoot/iowa-shooting-ranges

Iowa has hundreds of fishing ponds in city, county and state parks. Take your family to a neighborhood nearby and catch a fish. Find Iowa’s Fish Local atlas and other community resources to start fishing today.

fish local

Iowa has several public hunting areas and ranges, including state recreation areas and forests, providing ample fishing and hunting opportunities:

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 – Nature’s Wonders

Natures Wonders


Backbone State Park was Iowa’s first state park. Discover what makes it special in this video produced by Travel Iowa and the Northeast Iowa RC&D.

Have you been to the DNR state fair building and explored the “Change Your World” truck? Get more ideas to help the environment at home on the Change Your World web page.

state fair truck
Tuesday, August 18, 2020 – History and Culture

Nature and art have a deep connection. Learn about 20 Artists, 20 Parks, a special project to commemorate the state park centennial. Artists from Iowa State University created unique art pieces inspired by their visits to 20 state parks. The project was sponsored and funded by the Iowa Arts Council at the Department of Cultural Affairs.
20 artists, 20 parks

historyculture


coloring_owl

Iowa State University professor Paula Streeter, is an artist in the 20 Artists, 20 Parks program. She has created Iowa state park centennial coloring pages free to download!


Limited offer during August! Get the annual “state fair magazine special” right here! Subscribe to a one-year subscription of Iowa Outdoors magazine and get your state fair t-shirt. Learn more https://programs.iowadnr.gov/epay/subscription/fairspecials.

magazine and tshirt special
Monday, August 17, 2020 - Healthy Lifestyles

Iowans are loving their state parks in 2020 as they seek exercise and relaxation outdoors. Ready to explore?

healthy lifestyle


The Iowa Walking Club and other partners have created 5k and 10 walking maps in 20 Iowa parks this year. The maps are free and can be downloaded for your next excursion. Learn more about 20 Walks in 2020!

Watch the DNR’s Facebook Live at 12:45pm to see a dutch-oven cooking demonstration, just like at the fair each year in the DNR building!

More dutch-oven cooking recipes.

Discover your favorite state park or visit them all with the State Park Passport – sign up to track your park visits and the opportunity to win prizes.


parks passport sign up
Sunday, August 16, 2020 - Volunteerism

You can help care for state parks! Join our great volunteers, or just lend a hand on your next park visit.

volunteerism


From playgrounds to trails, and from movies to nature programs, state parks are great because of the dedication of local Friends Groups, volunteers and communities. Learn about Iowans who tirelessly support Iowa state parks.

Waubonsie State Park campground serve others during Missouri Floods

Waubonsie State Park campground serve others during Missouri Floods
When disastrous flooding from the Missouri River inundated the southwest Iowa town of Hamburg in the spring of 2019, Waubonsie State Park opened the campground for displaced residents. Campground hosts Deb and Dave White went to work to help, cleaning campground facilities, serving community meals and being caring neighbors to those in need during the natural disaster. We appreciate their kindness and making Waubonsie such a welcoming place.

Backbone friends group keeps park thriving through donations

Backbone friends group keeps park thriving through donations
In the 20 years of its existence, the Backbone Friends Group has made a significant difference in the park experience for visitors. Through volunteer efforts, grants and donations, the volunteer group has purchased playground equipment, a storage shed, benches, audio/video equipment for the auditorium, among numerous other items and more. The Friends Group also hosts events like fishing derbies, fun runs, Christmas in July and snowmobile races.

Rex Buttolph donates 400 hours for trail repairs at Brushy Creek State Recreation Area

Rex Buttolph donates 400 hours for trail repairs at Brushy Creek State Recreation Area
In 2018, Rex Buttolph asked how he could volunteer in Iowa state parks. His previous experiences with the National Parks Service, US Forest Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service uniquely qualified him to assist with a trail repair project at Brushy Creek State Recreation Area. Rex donated nearly 400 hours to help complete the trail, which included placing 2,500 tons of rock. Once completed, Rex he moved to Nine Eagles State Park and donated an additional 96 hours of volunteer time to improve and make necessary repairs to their trail system.

If you want to lend a hand, check out the DNR’s volunteer page for opportunities in state parks and throughout DNR programs and areas.

volunteer
Saturday, August 15, 2020 - History and Culture

Iowa State Parks are celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2020. Iowa’s first state park, Backbone, was dedicated May 28, 2020. Learn more about the history of Iowa state parks, early conservationists and why state parks are so important and unique.

lend a hand


Learn the fascinating beginnings of Iowa state parks from this article in the latest edition of Iowa Outdoors magazine. Subscribe today to get the state fair magazine special – a t-shirt and one-year subscription.

early park

Explore early state parks in this original park brochure featuring Backbone, Lacey-Keosauqua, Stone and several other of Iowa’s earliest parks.

state parks brochure

Visit Iowa State University’s online exhibit about state parks to view an in-depth history of state parks including old photos, blue prints, letters and more!

Watch this segment of Iowa PBS’s Iowa Outdoors show to learn the history of the CCC at Backbone.

Friday, August 14, 2020 - Nature's Wonders

What do the DNR building and state parks have in common? They are home to native Iowa animals!

healthy lifestyle


Join us for a tour behind the scenes as we stock the aquariums at the 2018 Iowa State Fair.

Explore Iowa’s natural wonders on a scavenger hunt in a state park or your own back yard.


5 Senses Nature Hike

Each year at fair, you can get your hunting and fishing license to enjoy the fall seasons. Get yours online today, and don’t forget – deer tags are on sale tomorrow, Aug. 15!

If you’re looking for a scenic drive to state parks and other natural areas, check out these picks for Iowa’s best waterfalls. Find more Iowa state parks to plan your trip.

waterfall
Thursday, August 13, 2020 - Welcoming Place for Everyone

welcome image

Explore Iowa with the State Park Passport – sign up to track your park visits and the opportunity to win prizes.


parks passport sign up

Limited offer during August! Get the annual “state fair magazine special” right here! Subscribe to a one-year subscription of Iowa Outdoors magazine and get your state fair t-shirt. Learn more https://programs.iowadnr.gov/epay/subscription/fairspecials.

magazine and tshirt special