Backbone Lake Friends Organization

Chairman Ivanelle Bushaw,  Co-Chairman Ed Gibbs,  
Sandy Sanfillippo,  Treasurer Darla Kelchen
Present Board Members:  Senator Kitty Rehberg, Representative Roger Thomas, DNR Dave Sunne, 
Velda Meyen,
Bob Keck, Sandy Sanfilippo, John Welterlen, Ed Gibbs and Dennis Megger.
Past Board Members:  Don Clevenger, Bob Keck, Kirk & Luann Conklin, DNR Scott Michelson.

 1999 Lake Silt Excavation

A drained Backbone Lake displayed years of siltation to the beach area.  A group of concerned citizens talked with their Representatives and Senators for assistance to clean the lake.  Community meetings were held on how to Save the Lake.  Surrounding community volunteers joined together and donated equipment, time, labor and funds to excavate 20 acres of silt from Backbone lake.  The project was facilitated by the Backbone Lake Friends, Representative Roger Thomas, Senator Kitty Rehberg, and partnerships with the Department of Natural Resources, Moyna & Sons Construction Inc., Rockette Trucking, Lincoln Farms, Gaffney Quarries, Gallery Construction and Kulhman Construction.

The project was a success with 150,000 tons of silt removed from the lake.  The excavation took 17 days and nights to accomplish.  The project came to a close when the weather became too warm and the equipment was no longer able to travel through the lake bed.  Over 674 dedicated and devoted volunteers contributed time, funds, food, fuel, equipment for the project to make it a success. 

View our contributors list.

If you are interested in being a supporter of Backbone State Park preservation program.

2000 Lake Shore Preservation

Erosion was wearing away the south shore line of Backbone lake.  In honor of "Make A Difference Day" October 23, 2000
We Made a Difference!

Partnerships between the Backbone Lake Friends, Department of Natural Resources, Iowa State Fish and Wildlife Division of Manchester, 
Gaffney Quarries, Inc., 
Wal-Mart Foundation and 
Iowa's Earth Year Program working together we installed 
426 tons of rock along the south embankment of the lake to 
prevent further soil erosion.
Iowa State Fish and Wildlife Division of Manchester assisted in the project by supplying the equipment and labor in the placement of the shot-rock along the shoreline.  Gaffney Quarries Inc., hauled 26 loads of shot-rock that will prevent erosion and provide a sanctuary for fish.
Volunteers and contributors to the project were:

DNR Scott Michelson, DNR Dave Sunne, Iowa State Fishery employees, Gaffney Quarries Inc, Wal-Mart Foundation, 
Iowa Earth Year Program and  Backbone Lake Friends Group.

The "Make a Difference Day" was created by the USA Weekend Magazine as an annual event every 4th Saturday of October to promote volunteers to clean the environment. 

Together we can preserve natures
beauty in Backbone State Park for future generations to enjoy.

If you are interested in being a supporter of Backbone State Park preservation program.

2001 Tree Planting Project

Backbone State Park lost over 2500 trees in a severe storm in 1998.  In honor of "Earth Day" April 21st, 2001 the Backbone Lake Friends Organization sponsored a tree planting project. Co-Chairman Don Clevenger facilitated the project. 
Over 800 trees were planted with support between the Backbone Lake Friends Organization, and the following volunteers and contributors.
DNR Department of Natural Resources, Maquoketa Headwaters Council, DNR Forestry, Iowa Earth Year 2000, Cascade Nursery Inc., and the Starmont Sophomore Class.   Students who volunteered their time to plant the trees were;
Cain Brewer, Matt Elliott, Hannah Glass, David Raithel, Jake Sargent, Alicia Tucker, Erin Weston, Mark Bockenstedt, Casey Curtis, Naomi Keppler, Eric Miller, Mark Pickart, Dustin Vice, Jim Carnicle, Megan Ellis, Alex Keppler, Elisha Rafle, Nathan Schoof, Jesse Waitman, Brian Willis, Ashley Courtnage, Trisha Hettinger, Alicia Koch, Sam Otdoerfer, Cody Schmidtke, Jonathan Walz, Kasy Curtis, Rhys Evans, Amanda Lucker, Ashley Rubner, Anne Shaffer, Emily Welter, Tammy Yelden, Sheena Cunningham, Jennifer Howard, Justin Lincoln, Travis Petsche, Megan Sparrgrove, Marie Zitelman, James Greer, Travis Perry, Richard DeShaw, Andy Northrup, Alan Petersen, Dan Volker, Jackie Hunt, Tony Duhme, and Athletic Director Todd Tharp.  Other volunteers  who planted trees were:
 DNR Dave Sunne,
DNR Scott Michelson,
DNR Mary Shea,
Co-Chairman Don Clevenger, Upper Maquoketa Watershed Bob Bassett. 
The project was a success with many who volunteered their time, funding and commitment to continue preserving Iowa's First State Park Backbone.
If you are interested in being a supporter of Backbone State Park preservation program.