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Since 1988, the Okoboji Foundation has granted over $5.24M to 89 nonprofits in the Lakes community to be used to create and sustain vital capital projects.

The Okoboji Foundation considers projects at two giving levels. Requests of $500-$24,999 are considered “community need grants” and requests of $25,000 or more are considered “capacity building requests.” Grant applications are accepted from January 1st to March 1st each year. A committee, comprised of board members and other engaged community members, reviews the applications and makes aware decisions in late spring.

Additionally, students of the Youth In Philanthropy program of the Okoboji Foundation assist in the grant review of “community need grants,” awarding dollars they have raised throughout the school year.


Camp Foster/ YMCA of Okoboji’s


Camp Foster Airnasium

This open-air gymnasium will provide inviting, high-quality engagement opportunities year-round for school groups, youth groups, businesses, families, and individuals in the Iowa Great Lakes Region.

Pearson Lakes Art Center


Art Smart Children’s Interactive Gallery Renovation

To completely renovate the Art Smart Children’s Interactive Gallery into a low-tech, hands-on learning experience that engages children, teens, and parents. Designing a space that reflects the mission of the Pearson Lakes Art Center and encompasses the four departments of the art center including visual arts, performing arts, art education and culinary arts.

Dickinson County Trail Board


Tatanka Ska Trace Phase IV

Tatanka Ska Trace is a multi-phase project to convert the former railroad into a recreational trail that spans 37 miles across Dickinson and Osceola Counties. Phase IV includes three segments totaling 7.5 miles that will connect Lake Park and Montgomery to Spirit Lake.

Historic Arnolds Park, Inc.


Train Tunnel Rebuild

The Historic Arnolds Park train has provided many generations of children thrills and fond memories and the tunnel is an integral part of the train ride experience. The tunnel on the iconic park train needs to be rebuilt for safety and protection from weather. This project will allow many more generations of families to share this Okoboji experience together.

Dickinson County Historical Society & Museum


Roof Replacement

For the Dickinson County Historical Society and Museum to replace the aged roof on the 1883 depot building.

Iowa DNR/ Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery


Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery Wheelchair Lift

To install a vertical wheelchair lift into the hatchery tank room. Adding a vertical wheelchair lift by the visitor stairs will allow access into the tank room to view hatchery fish production.

Disaster Recovery Fund Grantees

Over $51,800 has been granted to the following: 

$15,500 – Bedell Family YMCA, Camp Foster

$2,410 – Dickinson County Fair Board

$6,500 – Historic Arnolds Park

$850 – Rock ‘n Roll Music Association

$4,000 – Lakes Area Hockey Association 

$8,800 – Lakes Regional Healthcare Foundation 

$2,800 – Respite Angels

$9,000 – Voluntary Action Center

$2,000 – Well Food Pantry