“This place is a hidden gem,” says Glacial Lakes State Park president Jolene Moen. Part of the beauty is perhaps the quiet nature of the park, where visitors can often look across miles of rolling hills and not see a soul. Yet, these Friends know that the more people visit, the more they value it and invest in its preservation.
That’s why the Friends are determined to raise awareness of this special place. They put on several events during the year, with the most popular one being the Easter Egg Hunt with 5,000 eggs that draws between 500 to 700 people. It has become a treasured community tradition and contributes to the park’s largest day for selling park entry permits.
Community parades are another tradition for many of the small towns within 30 miles of the park. Not wanting to miss out on this key opportunity to raise awareness, the Friends have constructed a small float that they drive to most of these parades promoting the park’s amenities.
With limited staff at the park, the Friends pitch in with labor and fundraising to help with some of the maintenance. This has included raking leaves in the campground to installing rocks around a shelter that will help control runoff. They also plant trees in honor of active members after they pass away. This included two trees in late 2017 when long-time members, Loren Sansness (former president) and Jim Mason passed away.