During his 34 years with Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Mark Ackelson was involved in dozens of additions to state parks around Iowa, protecting more than 1,500 acres of expanded wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation area at some of the state's most popular parks—including prairies, wetlands, woodlands, and watersheds.
He joined the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in 1980 and became its president in 1994. In addition to protecting hundreds of acres of Iowa's prairies, wetlands, woodlands, and watersheds, he was involved in the conversion of 800 miles of former railroads to trails and conservation corridors.
Mark co-founded the Land Trust Alliance and served as chair for three years. He also contributed to creating the ten-state Mississippi River Trail, Inc., the Resource Enhancement and Protection Program, and the State Recreation Trail Fund.
Not only does Mark have years of experience advocating for and protecting Iowa parks, but he also has miles of experience cruising across the state—on two wheels (instead of four)—as an avid cyclist and veteran RAGBRAIer.