CORRECTIONVILLE, IOWA (KCAU) – Camping season for Woodbury County parks is officially underway today, but the Woodbury County Conservation Board will be out all week preparing for the ‘Camping Kickoff Weekend’.

“This morning we’re going around putting up our facilities, getting them all cleaned and ready for the opening day,” District Resource Manager for the Woodbury County Conservation Board Nate Silfies said.

Nate Silfies said may first is considered the beginning of camping season in the county, but work to prepare campgrounds has already ramped up.

“We typically spend about two weeks prior getting the campgrounds set up, getting our wells shocked, getting all the water turned on, bathrooms turned on, so it’s about a two-week process,” Silfies said.

Nate is part of a team of full-time workers getting campsites ready for the ‘Camping Kickoff Weekend’ that runs from May 5-7.

“It’s our opening weekend kickoff, camping weekend, and we encourage campers to come out and we provide one night’s free camping, a coupon for them to use sometime throughout the summer and then we have some giveaways. We’ve got nine full-time staff out in the parks along with their seasonal workers that are getting the parks ready to go,” Woodbury County Conservation Board Executive Director Dan Heissel said.

The Woodbury County Conservation Board’s Executive Director said the opening weekend kickoff is a way to incentivize more folks to enjoy mother nature, yet the ongoing drought has led to new challenges.

“We have to worry about fires, we do have to worry about water levels in our lake and our streams and creeks so that’s off of what we’re getting for rainfall and as everyone knows, we’re definitely low on that,” Silfies said.

Dan Heissel said he’s noticed more people camping since the pandemic and he anticipates another successful season.

“I think people found the outdoors a little bit more, they were able to get out and about and they appreciate it and I think we’ll see some more campers this summer,” Heissel said.

If you do want to get out and enjoy some Iowan nature, you can rent cabins at Snyder Bend Park, Little Sioux Park, and Southwood Conservation Area. Details on how to book cabins can be found here.