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New Iowa State Parks App Has Its Limitations

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June 18, 2013 by   - () Leave a Comment

New app for Iowa state parks

Iowa’s outdoor lovers can access a trove of information about state parks and other recreational areas via their smartphones with the rollout of two new products on Monday (June 17).

However, officials also acknowledged that mobile phone users may be frustrated by spotty data signals in rural Iowa while visiting state parks. That means that folks shouldn’t toss out their traditional paper tourist brochures just yet, the Des Moines Register reported.

A free mobile app for state parks, known as the Iowa State Parks & Recreation Guide, has been developed through the Iowa Parks Foundation. It offers global-positioning-system technology, and will allow people to decide which park to visit by using a list of activities or by searching for a park within a particular region. Each park will have a calendar of events

This mobile app is available free for iPhones and Android phones

In addition, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has developed a new website, Healthy and Happy Outdoors, or H2O, that allows Iowans to find more than 30 types of outdoor activities at more htan 1,600 state and county parks and recreation areas.

The release of the new products was announced at Gov. Terry Branstad’s weekly news conference at the Iowa Statehouse. Branstad praised the initiatives as a way to help Iowa achieve its goal of becoming the nation’s healthiest state. He also said they will highlight Iowa’s natural resources, and will help recruit and retain a high-quality workforce for Iowa’s employers.

“As someone who visits all 99 counties in Iowa, I can personally attest to not only the natural beauty of our state, but also the tremendous options we have here to find healthy outdoor recreational opportunities no matter where we live,” Branstad said.

Joe Gunderson of the State Parks Foundation Board of Directors described the mobile app as a “convenient way to promote use of parks in Iowa using a technology that more and more of our citizens are using on a daily basis.” The product is available for Apple products and Android phones.

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