The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is kicking off the camping season by offering free camping weekend Friday through Sunday. Kevin Szcodronski, with the State Parks Bureau says this is an opportunity to give back to the park patrons.
Scodronski says it’s their way to get campers to dust off the gear, thank them for their patronage over the years, and get them out again to enjoy the outdoors. Szcodronski says the campsites are likely to fill up for the free weekend. The weather may be the biggest factor and the forecast for this coming weekend is "excellent," says Scodronski, so he expects the parks to be pretty busy.
There is one limit on who gets to take advantage of the free camping. "This is only available to Iowa residents," Scodronski says. Anybody who’s from out of state will still have to pay to camp on that weekend. While the DNR has a new system to let campers reserve a site, it will not be used for the free camping weekend. If campers are already in a paid spot, they may stay for the free weekend. The free camping weekend May fourth through the sixth in for all DNR-managed state park, recreation area and state forest campgrounds.