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As we wrap up 2022, let's reflect on all of the work that you helped the Iowa Great Lakes Association make possible.

Who We Are

The Iowa Great Lakes Association, or IGLA, was found in 2008 as a nonprofit 501(c)4 environmental organization existing to protect, preserve and enhance the Iowa Great Lakes.

IGLA is a multi-issue organization that strives to be an active influence in promotion for environmental health and quality of life in the Iowa Great Lakes region.  We support organizations whose environmental missions include protection of the Iowa Great Lakes watershed area.

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What We Do

The Iowa Great Lakes Association supports clean water efforts as well as other environmental and social initiatives to protect the quality of life for those in the Iowa Great Lakes area. Click on a topic below to view our video updates and learn more about our work.

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Featured News

Milford City Council Approves Agreement for Bridge at Lower Gar Outlet

October 13, 2022

On Tuesday, October 11th the Milford City Council approved an agreement with Dickinson County with regards to the outlet at Lower Gar.  The county will replace some of the culverts with a bridge.  IGLA’s own Bill VanOrsdel is thrilled with the development as our nonprofit has been working on a solution for over a decade … Read more

City of Milford Contributes to Eurasian Watermilfoil Fight

September 13, 2022

(Milford)– Another governmental entity has voted to set aside funds in the battle against eurasian watermilfoil on the Iowa Great Lakes. The Milford City Council Monday evening voted unanimously in favor of a motion by councilman Andy Yungbluth… “I’ll make a motion that we take $6,000 from the Water Quality Commission remaining money this year, … Read more

County Supervisors Unanimously Approve Emergency Allocation to Battle Eurasian Watermilfoil

September 6, 2022

9/6/2022 KUOO Radio (Spirit Lake)– We told you several weeks ago about eurasian watermilfoil being found in several of the Iowa Great Lakes. The invasive plant was discovered nearly a month ago in Upper and Lower Gar, East Lake Okoboji and Lake Minnewashta. Terry Wilts of the East Okoboji Lakes Improvement Corporation told the Dickinson County … Read more

DNR Discourages Swimming at Emerson Bay Due To Bacteria Levels

August 29, 2022

Spirit Lake, IA (KICD 107.7 Radio)– A public beach in the Iowa Great Lakes has a swimming advisory headed into the last weekend before labor Day. The Iowa DNR does periodic tests at public beaches, and the last test on Wednesday indicates a higher than normal level of E Coli bacteria at Emerson Bay on … Read more

E. Coli Levels Alarming on Big Spirit Lake Beach

August 24, 2022

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the water concentration of E. Coli on Crandall’s Beach on Big Spirit Lake has surpassed the capabilities of DNR test kits. The beach registered more than 24,000 viable bacteria. This is 10 times what is considered unhealthy. Rapid bacteria growth may  be due to recent summer temps or … Read more

Okoboji Blue Water Festival

August 11, 2022

The Okoboji Blue Water Festival has fast become an Okoboji summer tradition. Join fellow lake lovers this Saturday, August 13 for a full day of fun along the shores of our majestic lakes. Schedule of 2022 Festival Events • 8 AM-Chalkstock • 8:30 AM-James L. Pease presentation “Connecting Wildlife and Water Quality” • 9:30 AM-Kid’s … Read more

RV Parks & Campgrounds in the News

August 11, 2022

IGLA has been monitoring the number of proposed campgrounds at both the county & city level in our area.  Here are headlines from the past 6-months.  People are paying attention.

Iowa DNR Treating Eurasian Watermilfoil in Iowa Great Lakes

August 11, 2022

SPIRIT LAKE – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed Eurasian watermilfoil is growing at multiple locations in East Okoboji Lake, Upper Gar Lake, Lake Minnewashta, and Lower Gar Lake in Dickinson County The Iowa DNR Aquatic Plant Management team monitors 153 sites at the Iowa Great Lakes each year. Each site is visited … Read more

Supervisors Approve Planning & Zoning Recommendations

June 29, 2022

June 28, 2022 Dickinson County Board of Supervisors approved a recommendation from the county’s Planning & Zoning Commission to move campgrounds in areas zoned R-1 suburban residential & resort enterprise from permitted uses to conditional uses in those areas.  Zoning Administrator David Kohlhaase says the move will allow for some “additional checks & balances”. At … Read more

Proposed Campground Draws Protest

April 27, 2022

It was standing room only in the April Dickinson County Board of Adjustment meeting as a 174-site campground was proposed at the Woodlyn Hills Golf Course.  One of the developers of the proposed campground, Brian Schmidt said this would fill a void in our community. Neighbors voiced concern over public safety, noise, aesthetics, traffic and … Read more

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An important message from the Dickinson County Sheriff's Office - Iowa as the University of Okoboji Winter Games begins in the Iowa Great Lakes.The Dickinson County Sheriff's Office has received multiple calls in reference to the UTV that went into the lake near Okoboji Store. The passengers were able to get out safely. It will be removed when there is more daylight for the safety of the crew.

NEVER drive under a bridge, near pressure ridges, and not all ice is safe ice.

Stay safe out there!
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An important message from the Dickinson County Sheriffs Office - Iowa as the University of Okoboji Winter Games begins in the Iowa Great Lakes.

Comment on Facebook

Glad everyone is OK. Seems like this happens every year.

Is that a pressure ridge pictured around the 2nd dock? Novice over here and bringing snow mobiles up for the first time this weekend.

I don’t know, maybe the fact that there is open water?? If they were out at night when it is harder to see the open water then perhaps they should have talked to somebody about the fact that it never freezes under that bridge! Perhaps one too many cocktails? That will sober you up quickly!

take that snow fence around it. So no one does this yr after yr .

Holly Holcombe Noel Helphand Petersen Jason Petersen Be careful!! 🧊

Troy Hammen

Recovery going on now.

Stipid

Levi Whitmer you dumb ass

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Pikes Point State Park ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

It’s too bad the beach there is so small. It keeps eroding away. It’s also to bad that the shoreline is not kept up a long the tiny stretch of beach with weeds growing. Trees along the beach with weeds. It is not mowed very often either. It is neglected as far as I am concerned and could be cared for much more. If I were rich I donate sand for a better beach area. And sad to say the new bathroom at the top of the hill was a poor place to put it because now it blocks a lot of the view of the lake when you pull in. I love Pikes and wish they would do much better caring for it!!

Spent many a time there as a kid❤️

Sign up now to become a DCCE sponsor member for the 2023 annual banquet on April 1st at the Roof Garden in Arnolds Park. ... See MoreSee Less

Photos from Vacation Okoboji's post ... See MoreSee Less

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MLK Day ... See MoreSee Less

MLK Day

Notes on Iowa- a fantastic page to follow to learn more about our great state. ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

….and we’re headed west next Sunday to explore another Iowa “Pike” park in your neighborhood!

What the Sioux called East Lake Okoboji as reeds & rushes once surrounded the lake.

IAGreatLakes.com

#CleanWaterIowa #IGLAProtects #IGLAPreserves #EastLakeOkoboji
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What the Sioux called East Lake Okoboji as reeds & rushes once surrounded the lake.

IAGreatLakes.com

#CleanWaterIowa #IGLAProtects #IGLAPreserves #EastLakeOkoboji

Comment on Facebook

that'd be so wonderful to create a more integrated ecosystem and become less dependent on alcoholism to disguise the imbalances! 🏃🏻‍♂️💌💫

Swans at the Dickinson County Nature Center. Gorgeous photo courtesy of Val Sievert.🦢📸

#iglaprotects #iglapreserves
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Swans at the Dickinson County Nature Center. Gorgeous photo courtesy of Val Sievert.🦢📸

#iglaprotects #iglapreserves

Comment on Facebook

The wild swans we've seen raise their young every summer always leave. They fly south for the winter. I think there's something wrong that these are still this far north.

Absolutely amazing! Thank you for sharing 💙❤️

Beautiful for sure!!

Where was it taken?

Very beautiful

Awesome.

Beautiful!

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The Iowa Great Lakes were formed 13,500 years ago as the southwest edge of the Des Moines lobe ice sheet pressed south through Iowa.

www.IAGreatLakes.com

#iglaprotects #iglapreserves #keepokobojiblue #CleanWaterIowa
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The Iowa Great Lakes were formed 13,500 years ago as the southwest edge of the Des Moines lobe ice sheet pressed south through Iowa.

www.IAGreatLakes.com

#iglaprotects #iglapreserves #keepokobojiblue #cleanwateriowa

Comment on Facebook

For the first 13000 years it was pristine and clean. The. Humans decided to use it for recreation. Isn't it amazing how large an impact humans have had in just a blink of time comparatively.

Well lets just not allow boats of any kind on the lake anymore, no swimming, no beach front properties. That should fix it

Frigid familyfun at the Arnolds Park Amusement Park during the 43rd Annual University of Okoboji Winter Games.💨❄️Here is a look at the 2023 University of Okoboji Winter Games activities at Arnolds Park! ❄️
List of Winter Games activites happening at Arnolds Park: arnoldspark.com/wintergames-2023.

Reminder: these are only events happening AT Arnolds Park. Keep an eye out at uofowintergames.com/scheduleofevents for the full schedule of area-wide events.
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Frigid familyfun at the Arnolds Park Amusement Park during the 43rd Annual University of Okoboji Winter Games.💨❄️

Comment on Facebook

You forgot the chocolate classic from 1pm-3pm at the Expo in SL. Great place to get warm and taste some yummy desserts.

When is the cheerleader reunion dinner?

Mary Lage see this!

Did You Know The History & Significance of the Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary District❓

Preserving and protecting the Iowa Great Lakes involves collaboration. The role the IGL Sanitary District plays in keeping our water clean is astounding.

Waste water concerns and its impact to the Iowa Great Lakes go back to the early 1900’s. At the turn of the Century the population of Dickinson County was estimated at around 8,000 people (1900 US Census). The majority of the population lived in Spirit Lake, Okoboji, Arnolds Park and Milford. One of the earliest discussions of waste water issues was a 1906 Okoboji Protective Association bulletin that states “Sewage disposal and the best methods to prevent the contamination of West Okoboji Lake were the major concerns discussed at the first meeting of the OPA in 1906 (Parsons, 1988, The History of the Iowa Great Lakes Region). With a growing population, sanitation became a concern for the Iowa Great Lakes. Sewage treatment plants were established in Spirit Lake and Arnolds Park in the early 1900’s. The Spirit Lake treatment plant was located near the current drinking water facility and emptied its water into East Okoboji Lake at the north end of Gilbert Park. The Arnolds Park treatment plant was found at the current Minnewashta camp ground near the Okoboji Cemetery and its treated waste water emptied into Minnewashta Lake.

There's much more to learn about the IGL Sanitary District.

Learn more at:
www.iowagreatlakessanitarydistrict.com/about/general-info/history/

#iglaprotects #iglapreseves #iglsanitarydistrict #keepokobojiblue
... See MoreSee Less

Did You Know The History & Significance of the Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary District❓

Preserving and protecting the Iowa Great Lakes involves collaboration.  The role the IGL Sanitary District plays in keeping our water clean is astounding.

Waste water concerns and its impact to the Iowa Great Lakes go back to the early 1900’s. At the turn of the Century the population of Dickinson County was estimated at around 8,000 people (1900 US Census). The majority of the population lived in Spirit Lake, Okoboji, Arnolds Park and Milford. One of the earliest discussions of waste water issues was a 1906 Okoboji Protective Association bulletin that states “Sewage disposal and the best methods to prevent the contamination of West Okoboji Lake were the major concerns discussed at the first meeting of the OPA in 1906 (Parsons, 1988, The History of the Iowa Great Lakes Region). With a growing population, sanitation became a concern for the Iowa Great Lakes. Sewage treatment plants were established in Spirit Lake and Arnolds Park in the early 1900’s. The Spirit Lake treatment plant was located near the current drinking water facility and emptied its water into East Okoboji Lake at the north end of Gilbert Park. The Arnolds Park treatment plant was found at the current Minnewashta camp ground near the Okoboji Cemetery and its treated waste water emptied into Minnewashta Lake.

Theres much more to learn about the IGL Sanitary District.

Learn more at:
https://www.iowagreatlakessanitarydistrict.com/about/general-info/history/

#iglaprotects #iglapreseves #iglsanitarydistrict #keepokobojiblue
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