Imagine Iowa Great Lakes Update

The ongoing mission of Imagine Iowa Great Lakes is to beautify and enhance Lake Okoboji for the residents and visitors of tomorrow. The Imagine Board of Directors meets monthly to ensure the goals of the non-profit are being met.

"After a year of completing a number of significant projects in the area, Imagine Iowa Great Lakes will be ensuring that the gardens and properties are well maintained and cared for. We will also continue our beautification efforts with a Public Art Initiative that will bring artistry, color, and interest to the area,” said Imagine’s Executive Director Michele Goodenow. “This initiative includes the mural program and placemaking projects like the painted crosswalks and artist-painted furniture.”  The installation of the new murals will be located at Emerald Hills (May/June), Boji Bantam Children's Theatre, and Okoboji Summer Theatre (June).

The group is particularly excited to welcome Space Saloon, a collaborative out of Los Angeles, CA, as the inaugural Public Art & Ecology Artists-in-Residence for the Iowa Lakeside Lab. During their time here, they will engage in the landscape, context, and community of the Iowa Great Lakes region and produce an interactive public art project focused on both scientific and artistic methodologies.

Imagine will be mounting directional and interpretive signs at all the Imagine project locations and installing an eight-spot Polywood dock at East Lake Park.

“We are also working with the Dickinson County Trails, Iowa DNR, and Beck Engineering on a new railing and lighting for the Trestle Bridge, the pedestrian bridge by the Okoboji Store,” Goodenow shared.

They will also be partnering with the Dickinson County Trails on the construction of a new Tatonka Ska Trace Trailhead, just east of Hy-Vee in Spirit Lake. The trailhead will have public restrooms, picnic tables, benches, and a bicycle repair station. The area will provide welcome shade and a resting area.

The Pillsbury Point Shoreline clean-up will be done in partnership with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the City of Arnolds Park.

“Voluntary trees and invasive species will be cleared from the area, and the shoreline will be hydro seeded,” Goodenow explained.

The funds will also be used to restore the stone steps and benches.

For more information on Imagine Iowa Great Lakes, visit