All of these projects have been made possible with donations from people like you! We want to say thank you!

Friends organizations are independent, volunteer-based groups who work to enhance state park visitor experiences.

The Itasca group volunteers in activitites and helps raise funds for projects such as interpretive signs, historic preservation of park treasures, programming, purchases of needed equipment, like a defibrillator, and much more. Every year the Friends contribute more than $1,000 to sponsor presenters for the popular Presenters Under the Pines and Music Under the Pines programs.

In 2018, with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and a $5,000 grant from the Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota, the Friends assembled 440 tree cages. The Friends and other volunteers placed the cages around young red pine, white pine and jack pine to keep deer from damaging the trees allowing for quicker and healthier growth.

Highlights of Friends Projects

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Swimming Beach Playground

The playground at the beach was a Friends project, and it is ready for an upgrade. We are currently raising funds for new equipment!

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Many benches have been placed by the Firends throughout the park. Some of them are along the bike trail where you may stop for a rest and enjoy the forest.   

Wicker furniture update
Restoration of Wicker Furniture

The wicker furniture is located in Douglas Lodge.

Lake Ozawindib Fishing Pier
Lake Ozawindib Fishing Pier

Lake Ozawindib is a small lake on the west side of Wilderness Drive. The fishing pier offers visitors with boats to enjoy fishing.

Interpretive Display
Interactive Interpretive Display

An interactive interpretive display is located in the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center.

Wegmann Cabin Replica
Building a Cabin Replica

The Wegmann's were early residents of here. They established a store and provided services to visitors. The cabin and its history is located on the east side on the park near the beach.


The Friends purchased a defibrillator. It is located in the entrance of Douglas Lodge.