Volunteer day at Yellow River State Forest, program about history of Iowa State Parks this Saturday

Friends of Yellow River State Forest will be holding a fall volunteer day from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon this Saturday, September 28. Volunteers should meet at the sawmill area, located at 729 State Forest Road, Harpers Ferry.

Volunteer day activities will include: assembling picnic tables, splitting and moving firewood, painting and planting trees. This is a family-friendly event and children are welcome with adult supervision. Volunteers are asked to wear sturdy shoes and be dressed for the weather and for working.

That evening the Friends group will be holding a free presentation about how Iowa was a key player in the state park movement in America and one of the early states to set aside special places of quiet beauty as parks.

How did a popular travel destination known as the Devil’s Backbone become Iowa’s first state park and who were the movers and shakers that made it happen? Come learn more at this program at 7 p.m. at the Waterville Community Center.

The program will be presented by Jerry Reisinger, who managed multiple Iowa state parks for 38 years, found the cultural history of them very interesting, and sometimes wrote the park’s history. After retiring from Iowa state parks he started a new career teaching students at Kirkwood Community College’s Parks and Natural Resources programs.

As a park historian, and knowing that Iowa state parks would be celebrating its centennial year in 2020, he was naturally drawn to learn more about how Iowa got its state park system. Thus, he created this presentation. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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