Audubon Sanctuary

1. 25 acres bird sanctuary maintained as a wild life area,  In 2014 it was turned over to the Dickinson County Conservation Board..


In 1987 the Northern Iowa Prairie Lakes Audubon Society was looking for a piece of property to purchase to be a Bird Sanctuary. In 1989 a one acre piece of property within the city limits of Spirit Lake was donated to the society by Philis Grien as a memorial to her husband, Tom.  This property was near her home and previously had been an alfalfa field.  Tom had planted trees and grasslands as nesting habitat for birds.  Present at the ceremony was Mrs. Grein, her daughter and son in law Susan and Shawn Jorenby along with Audubon president David Kuehl and various other members of the society. 


At the July 3 ceremony Mrs. Grein turned the property over for preservation as the “Tom Grein Memorial Audubon Sanctuary”.  Mrs. Grein had harbored a dream to preserve the small tract of trees, grasses, and flowers that had been nurtured by her late husband over several years.  When Mrs. Grein contacted the local Audubon chapter about her idea for the property, it was apparent that the dreams for both parties had been answered. 


Plans were formulated on how this mini refuge will be maintained and developed as nature area. A sign will be placed at the entrance in 1990, with the name of the area and the sponsoring chapter.  Entrance to the property is located near the corner of Denver and 23rd street in Spirit Lake.  A small storage shed will be improved and a mowed hiking rail will be maintained. 

Members of the Audubon society assisted with the planting and watering of new trees, digging post holes and setting fence.   The entrance sign was made by David and Arlene Kuehl. Later the same year the DNR planted more trees.  Donations for fencing was received from Lynn and Loraine Wallace, Gary Fisk and Fergusons Landscape for plants, Penny Thorburg for a park bench and bird house, Mavis Wunder and Lavonne Foote for a concrete park bench along with other cash donations.   At an Audubon meeting a list of species was started for the area with 26 species identified.