Thank you for your interest in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. During the summer months (Friday, Memorial Weekend – Monday, Labor Day), the West Beach area of the park is a Federal Recreation Fee Area. Groups visiting the area for educational purposes during this time may obtain a waiver of the recreation fees if the group meets established criteria. To obtain an Educational Fee Waiver you should forward a written request to the park on institution letterhead. The following information must be included with your letter. Incomplete documentation will not allow us to grant your waiver request.
PLEASE NOTE: If your planned visit includes recreation at the lakefront, such as swimming, an educational or scientific fee waiver CANNOT be granted.
1. You must confirm that your group is a bona fide educational or scientific institution. If your group is chartering the services of a commercial bus company, the group must apply for the fee waiver, not the company. To confirm the educational nature of your trip, please supply at least one of the following supporting documents (on institution letterhead):
• A statement confirming educational or scientific tax-exemption from the IRS or your state or local tax authority.
• A statement, from a bona fide educational institution, confirming that the group is visiting for the purpose of providing transferable educational credit based on a curriculum.
• A statement of accreditation, or recognition as an educational institution, from a qualified national, regional, state, or local authority at the applicant's location.
• A statement describing the group makeup and mission of the group.
2. In your letter, please confirm that your visit supports a specific curriculum for which academic credit is offered. A general statement that the visit is for “educational purposes” is insufficient. You should include course outlines, lesson plans, or a copy of the curriculum. If your group is on a commercial tour, please state how the tour supports the curriculum. State the course number, description and/or a copy of the catalog description for college courses or an outline of student work required for K-12.
3. In your letter, please identify the park resources and/or facilities that will be used to support the educational purpose of the visit, and how they are relevant to that purpose.
4. If your planned educational visit includes recreation at the lakefront, such as swimming, an Educational Fee Waiver CAN NOT be granted.
In addition to the waiver criteria information, your letter must include the following visit information:
• The name and correspondence address of your institution
• Group contact name(s) with telephone number(s) and email address
• Date and approximate time of arrival and departure
• Number of vehicles
• Number of students
• Number of chaperones, including faculty.
If your group needs to cancel the waiver request, please call the park contact name below before the group’s planned arrival date so your place may be made available to others.
To insure that your waiver request can be processed and returned in a timely manner, your letter must arrive at the park at least two weeks prior to your planned educational experience. Applications cannot be granted at the time of visit.