The Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County’s mission is “to encourage environmental awareness among visitors and residents while fostering appreciation, preservation and conservation of the Iowa Great Lakes region’s unique cultural history, glacial geological formations, native species and natural habitats through education and action.”

The CFDC is an independent non-profit organization whose purpose includes charitable, educational,preservation and scientific endeavors which benefit and support conservation activities in Dickinson County, Iowa. Here are a just a few of the programs that the Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County sponsors:

• Water Quality related programs
• Dickinson County Naturalist programs and events
• Dickinson County Nature Center
• Re-establishment of wildlife habitats and native species
• Development of Nature Explorer Playgrounds
• Hands on family oriented outdoor experiences
• Dickinson County Conservation Board projects

The CF of DC is currently looking for out-going, dedicated individuals to serve on our board of directors. If you are interested please download this Application Form for Board Membership on the CF of DC or stop in the Dickinson County Nature Center for an application today!



Dickinson County is truly a jewel of Iowa. Carved out of some 13,000 year ago by a massive sheet of glacial ice, we have the gift of great natural diversity in landforms and ecosystems. The most obvious and widely appreciated features of our county are the many beautiful lakes that attract a hundred thousand visitors each year. The population of our county is growing. Such growth is not without a price. With increased population brings with it pressures that threaten the very natural systems which have attracted people to this area. Maintaining the integrity of our natural areas and insuring viable and sustainable clean water, air, and soil is a major concern. It was apparent that, awareness through education and interpretation of our natural and cultural resources was needed in order for the public to understand, appreciate and respect these treasures. So, in 1995, Dickinson County Conservation Board hired its first Naturalist Richard Leopold.

As the naturalist program developed, it became evident that some of the things necessary to operate effectively for conservation and environmental education did not fit well “inside the box” of county government. These awkward aspects slowly developed into actual reasons for a non-profit foundation. Through a non-profit foundation, the Naturalists would have more flexibility and could expand educational activities financially. Monies generated by the Naturalists through bus trips, financial gifts received from individuals, organizations and businesses could be kept (instead of going into the county’s general fund) and used to further the efforts of environmental education, preservation, restoration, and conservation in Dickinson County.

With these reasons, the Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County (or CFDC) was established in 1997. Since its humble beginnings, this non-profit organization has been gaining momentum. One of the foundation’s long term goals is to have a Nature Center here in Dickinson County, and our dream is a reality.


We currently have 174 members and we are looking to increase our membership. Your membership contribution helps to fund our many events, programs, conservation projects, and the Dickinson County Nature Center.

If you are also interested in becoming active in our organization, we are looking for board members and volunteers to help with our annual events and Nature Center programs. The Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County meets the second Monday of every month, at 7pm in the Dickinson County Nature Center. The public is welcomed to attend.

If you are interested in becoming a member of Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County please print out our Membership Form and send it to:

Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County
PO Box 973
Okoboji, IA 51355


President: Rebecca Peters

Vice President: JoAnne Sackett

Treasurer: Mary K. Donovan

Membership Chair: Shirley Rasmussen

Secretary: Erika Leupold




Members at Large:

Paul Arnold

Carol Armstrong

Ron Williams

Jim Tuel

Leah Streeter

Barbara Falk