Elinor Bedell State Park is one of Iowa's newer (1998) state parks. It is located on the shores of East Lake Okoboji and represents one of the last remaining open spaces in a region that is among Iowa's most popular tourist destination - the Iowa Great Lakes. The eighty acre park was a generous gift of Berkley and Elinor Bedell. A life long resident of the Great Lakes area, Berkley Bedell represented Northwest Iowa for 12 years in the United States Congress. Berkley and Elinor's dream of permanently protecting this beautiful piece of open space for future generations led to donation of the land to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Elinor Bedell State Park will promote appreciation and enjoyment of prairies, wetlands, and oak savanna landscapes once commonly found along the shores of Iowa's Great lakes. An extensive trail system will link these restored landscapes providing the public with recreational opportunities. By re-creating these natural landscapes, wildlife habitat will be improved and will provide excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.