Connecting Families and Nature at the National Lakeshore

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Date: June 8, 2012
Contact: Julie Larsen, 219-395-1821

Bring the family to an outdoor extravaganza at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore's Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education on June 16 from 9 am - 3 pm. In partnership with the United Urban Network, The Field Museum, and the Calumet Stewardship Initiative, park staff and partners have a variety of themed hikes, activity stations, and outdoor games planned for the whole family to enjoy.

As children spend more time plugged in at home, researchers know that our attachment to nature suffers and leads to other health problems such as obesity. This Leave No Child Inside event is designed to remedy some of those ailments and share ideas with parents on how they can interact with their children in the outdoors.

The day's schedule will feature different outdoor adventures along the Miller Woods hiking trail.
The fun starts with "Birding for Beginners" (binoculars and guide books furnished) at 9 am followed by "Step into Nature" featuring yoga and health tips with Alison Paul of The Field Museum at 10 am. At11 am take part in "Finding Serenity in Nature" with Pastor Curry of Full Life Ministries, then "View Nature from the Freedom Trail" with Brownsville Historical Society at 1 pm. The day's activities wrap up with a "Soundwalk" at 2 pm presented by the Midwest Society for Acoustical Ecology.

Activity stations will be set up throughout the site, including the new nature play area where children can safely play in the outdoors with natural objects. Stagecoach Productions will be sharing stories at the small parking lot where visitors can enjoy free lemonade. Families can create their own artwork and take it home or script a puppet show using the park's animal puppets on stage. Take a stab at some old fashioned games in the picnic area.

This program is part of the free Saturday open house programs at the Douglas Center. The Douglas Center is located at 100 N. Lake Street in Gary, Indiana. For more information on this or other programs at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, visit the park website at or contact our information desk at 219-395-1882.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is part of the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 397 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304


(219) 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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