National Park Week Activities at National Lakeshore
Contact: Bruce Rowe, 219-395-1609
INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: Saturday, April 21, through Sunday, April 29, is National Park Week in the United States with the theme; "Picture Yourself in a National Park." But, you don't have to fly to Yellowstone or drive to the Everglades to participate. You can join with the National Park Service to explore, learn, share, and give back to your nearby national park: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
National parks will mark the annual celebration with special events and activities including Volunteer Day on April 21, Earth Day on April 22, and Junior Ranger Day on April 28. All National Park Service events are free.
Celebrate National Park Week at the annual Green Gary Day on Saturday, April 21, from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. This free, family-oriented event will have activities at the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education on Lake Street in Gary and at the nearby Lake Street Beach. "Healthy Parks, Healthy Homes, and Healthy People" is the theme of this year's event that is being presented by the National Park Service in partnership with the City of Gary and local community groups.
At the Douglas Center, explore Miller Woods with a park ranger; participate in activity booths hosted by local nature and civic organizations; read about nature with the Gary Public Library, explore Green Urbanism, join a seminar on healthy homes by the Gary CARE Partnership, find out more about aquaponic and other urban farming techniques, and enjoy the Borderbends Art Collective's celebration of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring accompanied by the Chicago Phonography Ensemble. This is a great chance for kids to become Junior National Park Rangers by completing a Green Gary workbook.
At Lake Street Beach, fly a kite, learn more about the area from the South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority, and help keep the beach clean by joining an Adopt-A-Beach Clean-up with the Charter School of the Dunes. Free parking is available and a free shuttle bus will run between the Douglas Center and Lake Street Beach every 20 minutes. The shuttle makes its last run at 3:15p.m.
For those who don't mind getting their hands dirty, National Park Week offers a chance to help protect native plants at "Stewardship Day - Attacking the Invasives at Heron Rookery." On Saturday April 21, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, you can volunteer with others to remove non-native multi-flora rose plants that are crowding out the beautiful native wildflowers of this region. Meet the ranger at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center and carpool to the work site. Protective gloves and equipment will be provided. Following the work, join the ranger for a leisurely spring wildflower walk on the rookery trail at 1:00 pm.
For directions or more information on this or other National Park Week programs at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, contact the information desk at 219-395-1882 or check the park's website at www.nps.gov/indu. All programs are free.
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.