NEW APP: Leaders Hope Tech Gets Iowans Outdoors

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Iowans looking to exercise and enjoy the outdoors can now get some ideas from their smart phone or tablet in two different ways. "Outdoor activity has proven advantages in improving physical and mental health, " said Chuck Gipp, Director of the Department of Natural Resources. Gipp's department has started a program called Health and Happy Outdoors, or H20. Gipp said it will give information for people looking to take advantage of 1600 state and county parks and recreation areas.

The Iowa Park Foundation also announced a new app, or application, for users to download directions, maps and information about the state parks. The app is called the Iowa State Parks and Recreation Guide. The foundation acknowledges users may not have cell phone service or internet access in some parks. But board member Joe Gunderson said there is a plan in the works to fix that. He said, "Without getting into details, we actually have something we've been tracking down on that. So more to come later. But that is on our map."

Gunderson wouldn't say if that means installing wireless internet access in state parks or couldn't yet offer a timeline about when Iowans can expect the change. He did say, for now, Iowans could simply download the application before they get into the parks, so that they would have the information while they still had internet access.

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