STATE PARKS: Survey Helps Formulate Future Plans

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The governor wants Iowa to be the healthiest state in the nation and he says one way to reach that goal is to better the state park system.

A new study shows a need to revamp Iowa’s parks throughout the state. The mail survey was completed earlier this year and drew on a pool of over 1,200 people.

The survey found more young people and young families are using parks now. The trend is also changing from longer trips to day trips ranging between four to six hours.

“To give you an idea of how important state parks are…almost 80 percent of Iowans use Iowa state parks. It is the single-greatest most-used Iowa state asset. Nothing else is used like park system,” says Joe Gunderson, board member of the Iowa Parks Foundation.

The Foundation has a goal to better parks by 2020. That’s 100 years after the first state park was founded.

State leaders say they’ll create public-private partnership to fund some changes and use existing state funds for others.

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