The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has released its updated plan for outdoor recreation in the state and is taking public comments. The D-N-R’s Michelle Wilson says the plan was developed through a partnership with the county conservation boards, and is required by federal officials every five years.
Wilson says the state receives annual funding from the National Parks Service, and each state must have a current plan to get the funding. Wilson says the state plan has to fit in with the national goals, and that’s what they’ve done. She says they grabbed four plan goals from the national plan and then used them to create local performance goals specific to Iowa. For instance, one goal is to meet local recreation needs by creating “close to home opportunities.”
Wilson talks more about the state goals. Wilson says the performance goals are to develop an on-line statewide database that people can go to and click a city or count and call maps, or restaurants — making it a one-stop shop for vacation planning. Wilson says the state also has a goal of marketing the local recreation opportunities.
Wilson says they’re trying to encourage local entities to find out the needs of local people, because she says Iowans don’t want to travel very far for recreation activities. And Wilson says they want to encourage Iowans to get more healthy and use the recreation facilities.
Wilson says they will encourage people to get on bike trails, to exercise. And finally she says the state wants to encourage workshops to teach people to do outdoor activities. Wilson says you can view the entire plan and provide your comments. Wilson says there’s a link to the plan on the D-N-R’s website where you can look at the plan and make comments. Once she has all the comments, Wilson will submit the plan to the National Parks Service. You can see the plan at the D-N-R’s website.
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