SHELTER RESTORED: Project Complete

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A campaign involving Iowans from Spirit Lake to Des Moines has saved one of Iowa’s first classic stone park shelters.

The park is on Big Spirit Lake in northwest Iowa. It sits just south of the Minnesota state line.

“The DNR came to the Spirit Lake Protective Association annual meeting and charged the local community to partner with them to save the Mini-Wakan shelter,” said fundraiser Joe Ulman.

The park shelter renovation cost close to $1.25 million and is now complete.

To raise the money groups held musical concerts, home tours, and even a walk-a-thon. A grant also came from the State Historical Society and some money from the I-jobs program was used.  

“The DNR was not funded to be able to take on that level of restoration…so part of our effort was to set up an endowment fund that would be a long term source of funding for major repairs,” said Ulman.  

Plans to build a parking lot are on hold for archeological surveys because crews found Native American artifacts near the shelter.

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