State officials have created a new on-line contest to encourage Iowans to spend more time outdoors. It’s called the “Healthy and Happy Outdoors” program.
“Getting people more involved with outdoor recreational activities has always been an essential goal of the Department of Natural Resources,” says Iowa DNR director Chuck Gipp. “…Outdoor activity has proven advantages in improving physical and mental health.”
Gipp says there are more than 30 different types of outdoor activities available in more than 1600 state parks and public areas around the state, ranging from hiking and biking to bird watching and horse riding. Gipp and others in his agency are calling their “Healthy and Happy Outdoors” program H2O, the chemical compound known as water.
“H2O allows people to sign up and keep track of the activities they do and the places they visit,” Gipp says. “Those who register and log activities will also be eligible for some prize drawings that will be donated from private sources.”
People who log their activities on the state’s “Healthy and Happy Outdoors” website between now and the Iowa State Fair will be entered in a drawing. One of the prizes is a six-hour “how to kayak” course, valued at $575. There’s also a “photo quilt” competition on the website through July 22. One photographer from each of Iowa’s 99 counties will win a free subscription to the Iowa Outdoors magazine.