Celebrating Iowa’s Centennial State Parks Year - on the Air

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Terms and Definitions

Our goal is to join the Iowa State DNR and other organizations in celebrating Iowa’s Centennial Year of State Parks. This will be a very special event, one recognizing the beauty and utility of our state parks, and one recognizing that Iowa was a leader in creating a state park and county park system.

To publicize on the air the fact that 2020 celebrates the State of Iowa being the first state in the USA to have a state park system and a county park system. There are now sixty-three state parks in the system.

To hold across the state amateur radio events marking the Centennial of this event---similar to the POTA program but distinctively separate. It will be called IASPOTA-2020: Iowa State Parks On The Air 2020

To establish a system of acknowledging amateur radio operators who make contact during the year with five of our state park radio events. They will qualify for a certificate acknowledging their achievement.

To involve as many clubs and amateur radio operators across the State of Iowa as possible in the yearlong event.

To have fun and promote amateur radio in the State of Iowa.

Parks 2020 Centennial Goals:

  • Celebrate the importance of state parks to Iowa’s history, culture and quality of life.

  • Connect Iowans to natural resources in a personal and passionate way, and Inspire a high level of appreciation and stewardship of the Iowa state park system for the future.

Program Operation:

The Program is managed via the Internet using a website and emails to keep costs down. The worldwide IASTPOTA2020 website is at http://www.w0dbq.org/iaspota

Program start and end dates:

January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.


Activators (individuals and groups) are asked to register when and where they will be operating during IASPOTA, i.e., operating from which park(s) on which day(s). Requests for certificates will be cross-checked against the registration log and thus the registration is very important.

Activators can work from different parks over the course of the IASPOTA-2020 season and this is encouraged.

Chasers can work as many IASPOTA sites as possible but must work at least five for a certificate.

Shortwave listeners must log at least ten IASPOTA sites for a certificate.

Rules for Activators:

  • All Activators must comply with and local rules regarding the use of the land. In particular, Activators must ensure they have a valid permit if they are camping overnight and they must have permission from the head DNR ranger to set up antennas, etc. Rangers will be aware of IASTOTA-2020 as part of Iowa State’s Centennial Park Celebration and will be cooperative with your efforts.

  • If using a shelter you must register with the park ranger.

  • Assure the ranger that you will not be obstructing traffic or that your antennas and guy wires will not be a danger to other visitors of the park. Note it may not be permissible to drive on the grass in areas near shelters or campgrounds without permission from the head park ranger.

  • As usual, it’s nice to give ham radio as much visibility as possible, but be considerate and safe.

  • Unless special permission is given, park only in designated parking places.

Criteria for Valid Operation:

For an IASTOPA-2020 event to be valid, the following criteria must be met:

  • An Activator must hold an appropriate transmitting license.

  • All operations must comply with Part 97 of the FCC Rules and must use permitted amateur radio bands.

  • Mobile operators can be in, or in the vicinity of a motor vehicle but the antenna must be affixed to the vehicle and able to move with it.

  • All equipment must be transported to the site by the Activator team (group or individual).

  • All equipment can be operated from a portable power source, such as batteries, solar cells, etc. Operations can use permanently installed power sources, such as at a shelter, or fossil –fuel generators of any kind.

  • All operations must comply with any limitations regarding the use of transmitting equipment that may exist for the park.

  • Operators cannot use terrestrial repeaters for making contacts.

  • Activators must submit a log of each park activation and the stations worked, including call sign, time (UTC) and frequency.

  • Iowa state parks are open year-round. Therefore they can be activated the entire year, January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020.


To claim a certificate a Chaser should send a self-addressed stamped standard 8.5x11 envelope to:


C/o the Great River Amateur Radio Club

PO Box 1384

Dubuque, IA 52004

Rules for Chasers:

A Chaser must hold an appropriate amateur radio license.

The Chaser to qualify for a certificate must make contact with at least five IASPOTA-2020 stations. A valid QSO/contact must contain the Iowa State Park Identifier, the time of the contact, the frequency and the call sign of the Activator.

To claim a certificate a Chaser should send a self-addressed stamped standard 8.5x11 envelope to:

Use of repeaters:

QSO’s via terrestrial repeaters will not count.

A Shortwave Listener/Chaser must submit a log of at least ten state parks to qualify for a certificate. The log must contain the State Park Identifier, the time, and the frequency.