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A new “app” for state parks and outdoor recreation

(Radio Iowa) – State officials are touting a new, free “app” that contains maps and other information about 1600 public parks and recreation areas in the state.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources director Chuck Gipp says this new information for smart phones was created by his staff.

“In recent years, advances in data and mapping technology have allowed us to collect and present this information in a much more efficient way,” Gipp says.

While wifi and cell phone coverage is non-existent in many state parks, if you download the app at home, all the maps and information will be downloaded on your device. Joe Gunderson of the non-profit Iowa Parks Foundation says his group is hoping to find a way so Iowans can use their smart phones in state parks.

“Without getting into details, we actually have something we’re tracking down on that,” Gunderson says.

The Iowa Parks Foundation paid for the development of this new, free Iowa State Parks and Recreation app for smart phones. In addition, state officials have created a new online “Healthy and Happy Outdoors” contest for Iowans who can win prizes for signing up to participate in more than 30 outdoor activities that available in state parks.