Iowa State Parks

A Century of Stewardship, 1920–2020
Foreword Author(s): 

Angela Corio, photo editor
Jim Scheffler, photo editor

Published by the Iowa Parks Foundation

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288 pages, 222 color photos, 10 B&W photos, 3 B&W Maps, 1 B&W Figure, 11 x 8 ½ inches

“I highly recommend Iowa State Parks. It is a helpful reference book filled with engaging essays and descriptions and a wealth of stunning photographs. But even more importantly, this book is an invitation and a guide for us to visit our state parks, recreation areas, preserves, and forests to explore the best of Iowa’s natural world!”—Deborah Lewis, curator, Ada Hayden Herbarium

“Iowans now have a great up-to-date pathway to the entire park system. A must for anyone who camps, hikes, boats, fishes, photographs, birds, or in other ways uses these marvelous areas.”—Jim Dinsmore, author, A Country So Full of Game: The Story of Wildlife in Iowa (Iowa, 1994)

“Our public lands—global, national, and state—define us. We have taken them for granted for too long. This attractive volume puts into perspective those historic figures who cared, those personalities who saw beyond the horizon. It should be on your shelf.”—Dean Roosa, former state ecologist of Iowa

“This book satisfies the soul with exquisite images and captivating stories of some of Iowa’s greatest natural treasures: our state parks. To the uninitiated, it is an invitation to begin a journey. To the seasoned park visitor, it is like coming home. But likely all readers will see Iowa’s state parks, preserves, and forests with fresh eyes.”—Pauline Drobney

In 1920, Iowa dedicated its first two state parks. In the century since, the Iowa State Parks System has evolved into a broad array of lands and waters that represent a legacy of tireless stewardship. Iowa State Parks commemorates the origins of our state parks and the riches they offer in the present.

The photo essays at the heart of this book feature the artistry of well-known nature photographers such as Carl Kurtz, Brian Gibbs, Don Poggensee, and Larry Stone. The images help tell the stories of Iowa’s state parks, recreation areas, preserves, and forests. A historical overview sets the stage, followed by five essays on key aspects of our park system. 


Rebecca Conard, Heidi Hohmann, Cornelia F. Mutel, John Pearson, Jean C. Prior, William E. Whittaker