Iowa PBS's Iowa Outdoors celebrates Iowa State Parks' 100th Anniversary with new episodes

For 100 years, Iowans have enjoyed and explored their state’s natural beauty through the state parks system. To commemorate this milestone, Iowa Outdoors, Iowa PBS’s series centered on outdoor recreation and Iowa’s natural resources, will feature three new episodes honoring the history and beauty of Iowa’s state parks. The 30-minute episodes will air weekly on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in April, premiering on statewide Iowa PBS beginning April 1.

“Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Iowa’s state parks is an opportunity for Iowa PBS viewers to rediscover the natural environments in their own backyard,” said Iowa PBS Senior Producer and Director Andrew Batt. “Even after a century of visits, these parks serve as showcases for seasonal beauty, artistic inspiration and storytelling.”

The three-part miniseries explores the natural beauty, artistic inspiration and historic significance that Iowa’s parks have to offer. Featuring artists profiling their own parks, and utilizing modern aerial videography, Iowa Outdoors brings viewers to the state parks of yesterday and shares the inspiration they may bring for the next 100 years.

The first of the three new episodes takes viewers on an aerial tour of our state's most scenic parks. Iowa State Parks by Air, premieres Wednesday, April 1 at 6:30 p.m. and will be rebroadcast Saturday, April 4 at 9 a.m.

Iowa State Parks Artists celebrates the 100-year anniversary of Iowa State Parks by profiling Iowa artists that find inspiration in the state's public lands. This episode airs Wednesday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 11 at 9 a.m.

The final part of this special Iowa Outdoors miniseries airs Wednesday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 18 at 9 a.m. Iowa State Parks History, Trails and Photography showcases park history, varied trail experiences and photographic inspiration found in state parks.

Of Iowa’s 83 state parks, 13 are featured in the new episodes:

  • Backbone State Park, Delaware County
  • Honey Creek State Park, Appanoose County
  • Lacey Keosauqua State Park, Van Buren County
  • Lake Macbride State Park, Johnson County
  • Ledges State Park, Boone County
  • Maquoketa Caves State Park, Jackson County
  • Palisades-Kepler State Park, Linn County
  • Pilot Knob State Park, Hancock County
  • Preparation Canyon State Park, Monona County
  • Red Haw State Park, Lucas County
  • Stone State Park, Woodbury County
  • Waubonsie State Park, Fremont County
  • Wildcat Den State Park, Muscatine County

In addition to Iowa PBS’s statewide broadcast, viewers from across the state and beyond will be able to stream these special Iowa Outdoors state parks episodes on and the PBS Video App.

The episodes featuring state parks originally aired on Iowa PBS as Iowa Outdoors: 100th Anniversary of Iowa State Parks as part of Festival 2020.