Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation representative explains significance of East Okoboji land purchase

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SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (KCAU) – With the help of donations and pledges, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation secured the purchase of 50 acres of land on Labor Day, and conservation efforts are already underway.

Terry Kendall is a resident of Spirit Lake. He said he’s glad the land will remain undeveloped.

“My wife and I were really happy when we heard that they were going to purchase the land. I think it’s important to some of us locals to have some of the lake land preserved rather than all being condominiums and built up in the area,” said Terry Kendall.

An INHF representative says the foundation was motivated to buy the $8.2 million parcel of land to prevent it from development.

“It’s really because that’s what the community wanted. We had protective associations and book clubs and neighborhood associations spreading the word and it’s because that’s what they wanted to see, they wanted to see this remain this way,” said INHF Communications Director Joe Jayjack.

But, the work is far from over. The INHF already has plans in place to conserve the area.

“We’ll close on it in December before the end of the year. INHF will take possession, and then we can really start planning for what kind of restoration we want to do. Part of the great things about the quality of life up here is the natural areas,” said Jayjack.

“This is a special area here, and I think you can see by the $8 million plus that were raised for this activity, shows what a commitment the people who live in this area have to bettering the area,” said Kendall.

According to the INHF, there were nearly 500 donations and pledges that funded the entire purchase.

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