Iowa State Parks Kick off Camping Season
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is staging a statewide celebration this weekend to jump start the 2008 camping season.
Residents staying at one of Iowa's 53 state parks that allow camping will receive a gift package that includes a camping coupon good for one night of camping at an electrical site, an issue of Iowa Outdoors magazine, recipes, camping tips and more, according to the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.
The DNR is hosting different programs at state parks this weekend such as scavenger hunts, fish identification, fishing, wild edibles, snakes, natures hikes and campfire cooking.
The DNR has hosted camping kick-off weekends for several years, offering free camping in the past. This year, the state decided to give away the gift package to encourage participation, which included the free camping pass to be used at a later date.
Campers will have to pay the appropriate fees this weekend up front. Electric sites cost $16 at state campgrounds and non-electric is $11. Full-hookups (sewer and water) cost more.
"By giving a coupon for a free night stay at one of our state parks, campers can come back for another visit at their convenience," said Kevin Szcodronski, chief of the Iowa State Parks bureau, in a press release. "Our campers are important to us and we want to show them we value their loyalty and want to continue to see them throughout the summer.
"We are anticipating a good crowd for the kick-off weekend, weather permitting," he added.