Report shows that Effigy Mounds created over $4 million in economic benefit in 2012


A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 207,352 visitors to national parks in Iowa spent $11.5 million and supported 176 jobs in the state in 2012.


The national parks in Iowa are Effigy Mounds National Monument, near Marquette, and Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, in West Branch.


In 2012, Effigy Mounds National Monument saw a total of 78,540 recreation visits. Of those visits, 68,890 were by non-locals. Total visitor spending was $4,603,600, with nearly all of that—$4,409,300—coming from non-local visitors. The total visitor spending supported 68 jobs. 


“The national parks of Iowa attract visitors from across the country and around the world and provide premiere historical, cultural, natural and recreational experiences,” said NPS Midwest Regional Director Michael T. Reynolds. “This new report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy—returning $10 for every $1 invested—and funding generated by national parks has a swift and direct positive impact on local economies in Iowa as well.”


The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.


According to the report, most visitor spending dollars support jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent); hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent) and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).


To download the report, visit


The report includes information for visitor spending by park and by state.

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