What does a prickly pear cactus, Fowler’s toad, Monarch butterfly and beach pea have in common? They all call the dunes their home, and they all need your help! These, along with dozens of other sensitive plants and animals that live in the sandy dunes along Lake Michigan have a hard life in the hot arid sand with little protection from trees, and are adapted to the shifting sands of the dunes. However, the rapid movement of sand caused by human footsteps is something they are struggling with. You see, it only takes a few footsteps to squash, bury, or expose the roots of a plant to kill it in the sand dunes—and having people and dogs running around on the dunes can scare the critters away from their food sources and their families threatening their well-being and reproduction success. We are loving the dunes to death by accelerating erosion. So next time you visit—or walk out your back door into the park, please help save the dunes by hiking only on the official trails. Enjoy the views of Pitcher’s thistle, Artic bearberry, Jack pines, Sandhill cranes and more from the 50+ miles of marked trails at places like West Beach, Miller Woods, and Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for more information on 15 reasons to save the dunes!
Check Out These Cool Tats!
Images below are available as temporary tattoos, which can be picked up at either the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center or the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education.
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Donate to the Indiana Dunes National Park. Donations will be used to fund maintenance projects and enhance activities at the park.
Last updated: June 8, 2021