Backbone State Park Awarded $650,000 to Update Infrastructure

The Iowa DNR has received thousands of dollars in funding for improvements at Backbone State Park near Dundee.

650-thousand dollars from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust will be used to update Backbone’s aging infrastructure – just in time for its centennial celebration next year.

On May 28th, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds will lead the centennial celebration at Backbone State Park, which was Iowa’s very first state park.

Many of Backbone’s structures were built in the 1930s by the CCC. The limestone and wood structures include a lodge, beach pavilion and boat house, as well as an open-air auditorium, several bridges and three picnic shelters. The nostalgic design of these buildings defines the Iowa state park system.

Walter Panzirer, a Trustee for the Helmsley Charitable Trust, says the Trust is excited to expand its funding of conservation efforts for this work that will focus on restoring and conserving Civilian Conservation Corp-era buildings at Backbone. He says the historical significance and natural beauty of Backbone State Park deserves to be preserved and enjoyed by future generations.