Indiana Dunes National Park will receive more than $26,000 in financial assistance in 2021 from the non-profit group, Friends of Indiana Dunes, Inc. This funding will help the national park accomplish a number of projects and programs that might not otherwise be possible including a Marquette Trail wetland restoration, further expansion of the Little Calumet Water Trail, the annual Indiana Dunes Apple Festival, improvements in the park’s law enforcement shooting range and the purchase of heirloom seeds for the historic Chellberg Farm.
Park Superintendent Paul Labovitz noted, “Once again the Friends of Indiana Dunes have committed resources to help our National Park deliver terrific public programs, assist with staff development and improve our facilities. Our partnership continues through the challenges of COVID as we are all committed to continuing being a place to relax, recreate and renew in these interesting times. I’m thrilled at this tremendous outpouring of support and hope all our neighbors and visitors continue their support of the Friends of Indiana Dunes work.”
In addition to raising money for the park, Friends members also volunteer their time to help with everything from resource management projects to presenting park interpretive programs and festivals. In 2020, they volunteered 2,697 hours of work at the national park.
Angel Gochee-Goins, Chairperson of the Friends, said, “The Friends of Indiana Dunes are honored and pleased to be able to provide both financial and volunteer support to Indiana Dunes National Park and our other partners. We invite all to take some time and visit our beautiful dunes on the southern shores of Lake Michigan. Join us to understand, appreciate and enjoy the quiet and inspirational beauty of the Indiana Dunes.”
Established in 1982, the Friends of Indiana Dunes is run by an all-volunteer staff that has continued to expand its support of the Indiana Dunes. In addition to the national park, the Friends also provides funding and volunteer help to both the Indiana Dunes State Park and Dunes Learning Center. The group recently rehabbed an abandoned building that had been scheduled for demolition by the national park as an office and storage facility. This space will provide a base of operations helping the Friends group to increase its work and support of the parks.
The park’s Friends group is always looking for new members and volunteers. To learn more, or get involved, please contact the Friends of Indiana Dunes through their Facebook page or by email.
For more information on Indiana Dunes National Park or its programs, call 219-395-1882 or visit www.nps.gov/indu.