Iowa State Parks Centennial


Join in Celebrating a Century of the Best of Iowa

Nearly one hundred years ago a group of leading and dedicated Iowan’s began what has become one of the finest (but undernourished) State Park systems in the country – Iowa led the way for the Nation.  Today’s 88 State Parks reflect that it is time to lead the way again and celebrate the 100th anniversary of Iowa State Parks.  We are asking you to partner in the effort and find a way that you can help in the celebration.

Contact us at with questions or suggestions.

Your Opportunity

  • Review ways that you can help celebrate and/or promote the anniversary.
  • Spread it over the next two years or select a time that works for you.
  • Consider financial support to the project or identify sources of financial support.
  • Provide expertise and skills among your staff or membership.
  • Contribute materials, goods, and equipment.
  • Request a meeting so that we can brainstorm ideas that work for you and the event.


Suggestion Box

What ideas do you have for the parks centennial? Please submit them below. Please include implementation details.


A small group of dedicated private citizens (a committee of the Iowa Parks Foundation – 501c3 charity) are donating their time and effort for this special event.  They are working to support the State Parks Bureau efforts.

The Centennial Celebration Committee (CCC) is:

  • Kevin Szcodronski. Kevin is the former Director of the Iowa State Parks (2003 to 2013).  He is the chair of this small band.
  • Ann Raisch a former Iowa Parks Foundation and Trees Forever Board member also continues to be a major park enthusiast from Eldora,
  • Mark Ackelson – Former President of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and member of the Iowa Parks Foundation, Land Trust Alliance, and
  • Gerald Schnepf – Founding President of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and current Executive Director of Keep Iowa Beautiful.


  • Enlist the support of as many Iowan’s as possible to take part in the celebration – from individual efforts to major corporate commitments. We will enlist thousands of people to participate in centennial events in every State Park. Spend the next three years of 2017, 2018 and 2019 building up the catalog and variety of events that will occur in 2020.
  • A concentrated effort will be made throughout from now to 2019 to spruce up all state parks in Iowa so they look their best for the celebrations in 2020.
  • Encourage, promote and support events at Iowa State Parks in 2020.
  • Involve citizens, business’s, public entities, organizations, service clubs, State Park Friends groups, religious and youth groups.
  • Increase an understanding and commitment to the future of these special areas that support citizens for outdoor recreation, their physical and mental health needs, a place for traditions of families and friends, and the local and regional economies.
  • Provide the recognition for those helping and supporting the celebration.

Plan of Action

  • Retain a Centennial Celebration Committee Coordinator. Kevin S. has agreed to serve in that role as a volunteer.  Some reimbursement will be required for travel and out of pocket expenses.
  • Provide two regional CCC coaches (dividing the state in half) that will work with the coordinator in finding partners, developing plans, work with State Park Staff and in providing materials and ideas.
  • Develop the supporting marketing / PR and administrative materials along with “Community Event Tool” kits. These include a promotional pamphlet outlining a hundred ideas on how to celebrate the event and promotional materials that entities can use with their members, decals, webpage and face book, correspondence materials and data base management.
  • Obtain the financial support and partners necessary to carry out the event without additional burden or cost to government.