In addition to many years of experience in Iowa parks and outdoor recreation, including serving as Executive Director of Keep Iowa Beautiful from early 2000 until May of 2020, Gerald Schnepf is a seasoned organizer of vintage auto tours and events.
From 1996 to 2014, he was Director and Project Coordinator for the MotorIoway Vintage Vehicles Tours. He also founded the Salisbury Automobile Classic, a vintage car event at the Salisbury Castle in Des Moines (now the Des Moines Des Moines Concours d'Elegance event); was a Founding Officer and Board Member of the Red Flag Motor Tour out of Mt. Pleasant; and led the restoration of the automotive hertiage of the Iowa State Patrol.
Gerry's career in parks and outdoor recreation began in Canada, where he spent five years as the Chief Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Province of Manitoba, Winnipeg. One of Gerry's favorite parks moments took place during the grand opening of Birds Hill Provincial Park in Manitoba. He'd spent almost three years in guiding the acquisition, planning, and development of the 3,500-acre regional park and recreational facility. The crowning moment was its dedication. It was then that it dawned on Gerry that that was what parks are all about—the enjoyment and pleasure of the citizens.
After his time in Manitoba, Gerry brought his expertise to Iowa and spent ten years as the Chief Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Iowa Conservation Commission (now the Iowa Department of Natural Resources). State Parks were expanded, master planning for Iowa's State Parks was initiated, partnership efforts with the Iowa County Conservation Boards were enhanced, and the first comprehensive trail/corridor study for Iowa was completed.
Gerry went on to spend fifteen years as the Founding President of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation—one of the most prestigious private non-profit conservation/land trust organizations in the nation. And most recently, he spent nearly twenty years as the Founding Executive Director of Keep Iowa Beautiful, a non-profit 501(c)(3).
Gerry's volunteer time with other organizations has included: Former Board Member and Past President of Silo's and Smokestacks National Heritage Area; Past President of the Iowa Transportation Museum in Grinnell; Former Board Member of the French Icarian Colony Foundation in Corning; Advisor and support for the Trust for Local Conservation, a group that supported the 99 County Conservation Boards in Iowa; Past Co-Chair (first non-legislator to co-chair such a committee) of a three-year Legislative Study Committee on Tourism and Outdoor Recreation for Iowa that resulted in a range of advancements including the development of a roadside enhancement program within the Iowa Department of Transportation; co-author with Dale Henning (archaeologist) of the book Silent City, the story of Blood Run National Historic Landmark in Lyon County; and Founding Board Member of the Byways of Iowa Foundation. Along with former Governor Brandstad and former U.S. Congressman Neal Smith, Gerry also initiated an effort for the advancement of Iowa's State Parks that transitioned into the Iowa Parks Foundation.