Frequently Asked Questions

The project is driven by Okoboji-area community members in collaboration with local and regional contractors, city officials, state government entities, DNR, DOT and various volunteer community members. In all circumstances, our desire is to work with local vendors whenever possible in collaboration with local officials, business owners and community members.

Imagine Iowa Great Lakes is happening thanks to the generosity of a donor group with a strong passion for the Okoboji area.

No, the donor group understands the magnitude of maintaining the significant beautification efforts underway and has committed to establishing an endowment to support the ongoing maintenance of the enhancements.

Coordination with Historic Arnolds Park Inc. has been a primary focus since Imagine Iowa Great Lakes was conceived. Some team members are involved with both efforts, helping ensure a symbiotic relationship between both initiatives. The Imagine Iowa Great Lakes team has prioritized work at the park to maximize the impact of the investments in both efforts.

Imagine Iowa Great Lakes aims to build on the solid foundation that’s already in place and enhance them. The initiative will take the Okoboji area from somewhere special to somewhere truly unforgettable.

Yes, the design team will be working with property owners to ensure business visibility and access and to understand and address other concerns. Much of this work will happen in later phases, so these conversations have not yet begun.

Most of the plantings will happen in existing rights-of-way rather than in existing parking areas. In any areas where parking may be impacted, the lots will be reconfigured to offer approximately the same number of parking stalls.

Phase 1 will mostly be complete by next summer, with work continuing through this winter and spring. This part of the initial $10 million being programed.
 Construction work on the waterfront at Arnolds Park will continue through the winter. Work at the Clair Wilson state park just south of the Bridge will also be under construction this winter and spring. The goal (weather permitting) is to have all of this work done and open to the public by summer.
Also included in this Phase 1 work will be plantings at the Nature Center pathway, along highway 71. This work will likely be done in the spring. The Spine Trail Connector tunnel will be painted in the spring when the weather warms enough for the artist to begin. Lastly Okoboji Park, Hattie Elston State Park, will be be ready by 4th of July this summer. Phase II will include the State Pier at the Park (which will be complete by mid summer), the Dickinson County Trails and the Spirit Lake Trail Head.

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