CELEBRATE NATIONAL PARK WEEK AT CHICAGOS NATIONAL PARK
No need to make plane reservations to visit a national park during national park week 2011. You do not even have to drive a car, the South Shore Line train goes to Chicago’s closest national park everyday: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Make healthy plans to come on out to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and celebrate National Park Week 2011. There’s a lot to do for your health and the health of the park. You can help improve the health of the park’s plant community by volunteering on April 16, then join us with our partner Porter Health Systems for an exciting announcement on April 21, and finish the week with Junior Rangers to Get Out and Move on April 23.
April 16, from 9:15 a.m. to noon, you can join volunteers working on the Calumet Dune Trail at the intersection of U.S. Highway 12 and Kemil Road. Help remove invasive plants that are crowding out the native plants, tidy up the native plant garden and give a mile long section of the trail some spring cleaning. Volunteers coming by train can make arrangements ahead of time to be picked up at the Beverly Shores station for free transportation to the work site which is about 1.5 miles away. Contact Ranger Ted Winterfeld at Ted_Winterfeld@nps.gov or 395-1661 for more information, or just come on out dressed for the weather. Gloves and equipment will be provided.
On April 21 starting at 11:00 a.m. the National Park Service and Porter Health System will demonstrate how Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a healthy park for healthy people as we launch the Park Prescription Program, an initiative where health care providers and patients use the park to improve personal health and wellness
Everybody should get out sometime, and the National Park Service has set aside April 23 as National Junior Ranger day, a day for Junior Rangers, young and old, to find places to hike, bike, or stroll through a national park. Swing on over to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center at the intersection of U.S. Highway 20 and State Road 49 to pick up your “Let’s Move” Junior Ranger packet. Or if you prefer to come by train, you can get the same material at the Paul H Douglas Center at 600 N. Lake Street in Gary, Indiana. Exit the South Shore train at the Miller Station, and stroll just a few blocks north on Lake Street to the Douglas Center. Or, from the Miller Station take Gary bus route 13 (Oak & County Line Road) which passes directly in front of the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education. Ask the driver where to get off the bus.
What’s the best part of National Park Week events, other than getting outside to enjoy the spring weather? It is all free!
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 394 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore includes 15 miles of the southern shoreline of Lake Michigan and 15,000 acres of beach, woods, marshes, and prairie in the northwest corner of Indiana. More than 2 million visitors come to this national park each year.
Did You Know?
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has more than 1,135 native plant species distributed over six plant communities. Among all the national parks in the United States, it ranks seventh in plant diversity. This is an amazing feat for 15,000+ acres.