Some randomness to end 2016…

Babbling Brooks Column
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     First, as we come to a close in 2016, don’t forget to look at last week’s column (as well as Pete Temple’s) and give us your thoughts on our top 16 news and sports stories for 2016.

     It’s been a year of great accomplishments in sports, new businesses, new developments like the downtown pocket park, and things we all wish had not taken place such as bank robberies and gas leaks.

     So share your opinions with us and we will publish the official Year In Review for 2016 on Jan. 4.

     This week’s column is full of randomness. I got a recent e-mail explaining that the State of Iowa’s population has grown almost 3 percent since 2010 when the last Census was taken.

     In the last six years, Iowa’s population by the numbers has increased by exactly 87,824 people. (These figures are courtesy of The State Data Center from the U.S. Census Bureau.)

     Today, Iowa’s population sits at around 3.134 million people. We rank 30th among the 50 states, not including U.S. territories.

     The fastest growing state is North Dakota. Since 2010, they saw a 12.7 percent increase in population.

     The Census Bureau estimates the U.S. population to be at 323,127,513. Out of the 50 states, only three saw a decline in population: West Virginia, Illinois, and Vermont.

     Other information to take note of (or unless information to some)… Since 2010, 243,461 births have taken place in Iowa. We had 35,326 residents move here from other countries around the world. There were 178,416 deaths since 2010 as well, and a loss of 10,683 people who moved out of Iowa.

     The Census Bureau will release data figures for specific cities and towns in Iowa later in the spring of 2017.

     I love parks. I love spending time locally at Central Park and Wapsipinicon State Park. I enjoy leaving the area and going to parks in Dubuque County, too.

     According to the NRPA (National Recreation and Park Association), people in the U.S. visit local parks 29 times a year.

     There are a wide variety of reasons go to a park: recreation, exercise, fresh air, a quit place to reflect, watch the wildlife, take in the scenery, or to spend time with family and friends.

     For the most part, the largest age group of park visitors is Millennials, those between the ages of 18 and 34. Other demographics surrounding park enthusiasts are Hispanics, and parents of young children. Baby Boomers, those between the ages of 52 and 70, are seen as the least likely to spend significant time at a park.

     The article released by NRPA said one’s lifestyle also plays a part as to why they visit parks.

     And having other activities at the park also helps draw people there: disc golf, outdoor yoga, picnic areas, etc.

     We have so many great park facilities right here in Jones County, even Monticello: the downtown pocket park, Baty Disc Golf Course, Pictured Rocks Park, and many others.


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