Our Parks and Places

Abbie Gardner Cabin & Museum opens for the season Memorial Day weekend

Photo of a cabin

A small log cabin sits near Pillsbury Point, along the shore of West Lake Okoboji. “With inexpressible sadness I now recall some of the scenes and events that transpired in that humble but happy home…” Abbie Gardner Sharp wrote in “History of the Spirit Lake Massacre.” Her sister reading aloud to the family. Her father…

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Free compost and mulch at the Dickinson Recycling Center

Photo of compost being sifted

Everyone loves superfoods, and compost is like a superfood for your garden. Food scraps and yard waste together make up about 30 percent of what we throw away, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and instead they can be composted. Composting leaves and grass clippings is exactly what the Dickinson Recycling Center in Milford does.…

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Dispose of household hazardous materials at the recycling center

Graphic about HHMs

Cleaners, pesticides, oil-based paints — how do you dispose of these items when you’re done with them? The Dickinson Recycling Center in Milford accepts household hazardous materials such as these and disposes of them responsibly. HHMs, or household hazardous materials, are chemicals that are reactive, flammable, corrosive or poisonous. “Basically, it’s something you’re not supposed…

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Slow down at Pioneer Park Nature Preserve

Photo of pale purple coneflower

So many people crest the hill on Highway 71, coming north into the south side of Milford, and get a beautiful overlook of the Milford Creek, a tributary of the Little Sioux River. But did you know that you can take a right and actually walk through part of that beautiful area? Pioneer Park Nature…

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Abbie Gardner Cabin opens for the season

Photo of a cabin

At Pillsbury Point, people enjoy the beautiful view of West Lake Okoboji, the sun glistening off the water, the cool breeze. However, the scene was anything but peaceful at that same location 161 years ago when the Spirit Lake Massacre occurred in March 1857. Misunderstandings between settlers and American Indians sparked an atrocity that is…

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Get free stuff at the Dickinson Recycling Center Swap Shop

Photo of manager Charles Vigdal

It’s all free, folks. Latex and acrylic paint, drain cleaner, weed control products, insect repellent — the Dickinson Recycling Center swap shop has a variety of household products that county residents can have for free. People may bring in household hazardous chemicals to the Milford collection center and dispose of them for no charge, from…

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Introducing Pioneer Park Nature Preserve

Photo of Milford Creek

Blue flag iris, dickcissels, monarch butterflies — the Pioneer Park Nature Preserve will be a haven for flora, fauna and outdoorsmen in Dickinson County. The Dickinson County Conservation Board will tour its newest area, located just south of Milford along Highway 71, during its next Hike the Wild program Tuesday, May 23. Meet at the…

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Welcome environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman

Photo of Bryanna Kuhlman

“We were messy little critters.” Environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman’s memories of her childhood spent outdoors in Menomonie, WI, have shaped her into who she is today. “We had forts in trees; we would catch frogs in retention ponds,” Kuhlman said. “I had my red bucket full of worms.” She and her sister would race…

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Tips for birding in northwest Iowa

Photo of a house finch catching a worm

A flock of small gray birds appears in your yard, hopping around in the snow eating some seed that has spilled from your backyard bird feeders. Another red-headed bird sits on the feeder, pecking at the sunflower seeds inside. But do you know the names of the species that you see? Local birder Lee Schoenewe…

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Wildlife love Little Sioux Savanna and you should too

Photo of a river overlook in fall

  Walk into Little Sioux Savanna, a beautiful park just west of Milford, and take a seat on the mowed trail. Watch. Listen. Wait. A honeybee buzzes beside you as it gathers pollen in the prairie. A northern leopard frog jumps into the Little Sioux River just below where you’re seated. An eight-point buck and…

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