Friends of Itasca State Park play an active role in working to better the park and make the park experience more memorable for visitors.
What we do: The Friends of Itasca State Park participate in volunteer activities and raise funds for park projects including interpretive signs; restoration of the original wicker furniture in Douglas Lodge; playground equipment in the picnic area, campgrounds and Douglas Lodge; preservation of historic park photographs; purchase of a defibrillator; and most recently a fishing pier located on Lake Ozawindib. Every year the Friends contribute $1,000 to sponsor presenters for the popular Presenters Under the Pines and Music Under the Pines programs. In 2015, the Friends sponsored a successful raffle which raised money for benches that will be installed along the new bicycle trail next spring. The Friends also convened stakeholders at a meeting which resulted in an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) education and inspection program being implemented for the first time in the park.
Why give: More than 500,000 visitors from around the planet visit Itasca State Park annually. Some are on a pilgrimage to visit the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Others are inspired by the old growth pines, crystal clear lakes, wildlife and recreational and educational opportunities. The Friends are committed to improving the experience for all.