Park directors from across the country meet in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Park directors from across the country meet in Dubuque

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Park directors from all across the country are meeting this week in Dubuque for the annual National Association of State Park Directors conference.

On Wednesday, the more than 200 delegates -- plus area students and volunteers -- participated in a tree-planting ceremony at the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area.

Conference topics range from technology in parks to budget challenges.

Priscilla Geigis, president of the National Association of State Park Directors, was at the tree-planting ceremony Wednesday.

"Today, not only does it celebrate America state parks, but it celebrates the men and the women and of course the kids that spend so much time and energy just preserving and enhancing our parks through our volunteer projects," Geigis said, emphasizing volunteers' importance to state parks nationwide.

She said the association helps preserve more than 14 million acres of land every year with 730 million annual visits, returning some $20 billion in economic impact to their respective communities.

This year's conference in Dubuque runs through Friday.

The Dubuque Area Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the conference will benefit the area with a nearly $250,000 economic impact.

Iowa hosted the first-ever national conference for park directors 92 years ago in Des Moines.

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