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Okoboji, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Imagine Iowa Great Lakes began work this week to repair the seawall at Arnolds Park. The project will stabilize the foundation of the sidewalk and ultimately serve as a platform for the beautification work led by Imagine Iowa Great Lakes.
The project intent is to stabilize the existing seawall by placing pervious lightweight foam concrete behind the seawall and constructing a sheet pile wall in front of the seawall to prevent scour. The existing sidewalk will be removed and replaced with a new ADA compliant concrete sidewalk. The project will enhance and maintain the beach feel of the area once completed.
“This project exemplifies how the State of Iowa and nonprofits can join together to more efficiently deliver projects across the state,” said DNR Director Kayla Lyon. “Public-private partnerships allow our agency to further our dollars and our impact.”
When the engineering work is complete, the Imagine Iowa Great Lakes team will install a wooden boardwalk adjacent to West Lake Okoboji along with planting areas, brick pavers, a public art piece, and site furnishings that will enhance visitors’ experience in the project area.
“The Imagine team is grateful for the DNR’s prompt attention to this issue and the agency’s collaborative spirit,” said Michele Goodenow, Imagine Iowa Great Lakes executive director. “It’s because of these partnerships that our region is able to flourish and continually grow our tourism industry.”
Repair work on the seawall is being led by Graves Construction Company, Inc., and will be complete by the end of December.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources manages fish and wildlife programs, ensures the health of Iowa’s forests and prairies, and provides recreational opportunities in Iowa’s state parks. Just as importantly, the DNR carries out state and federal laws that protect air, land and water through technical assistance, permitting, and compliance programs. The DNR also encourages the enjoyment and stewardship of natural resources among Iowans through outreach and education.
Imagine Iowa Great Lakes seeks to enhance Lake Okoboji for the residents and visitors of today and tomorrow. A privately funded initiative, Imagine creates a strategic vision to guide beautification and enhancement efforts in the Okoboji area.
Imagine goals include improving the visual quality, environment, and safety of the area; strengthening the connection to the lakes; enhancing the natural environment; and, introducing elements and themes that evoke the spirit of the Iowa Great Lakes region.