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Contact: Julie Larsen, 219-395-1821
INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: Join in the celebration of Earth Day and National Park Week at the annual Green Gary and Junior Ranger Day at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore's Douglas Center on April 27, from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Enjoy fun, nature-based, activities, explore the newly opened Nature Play Zone and hike the Miller Woods Trail extension to Lake Michigan.
Presented in partnership with the Gary Parks Department under the banner "Get Moving, Gary", there are activities at both the national lakeshore's Douglas Center and at the City of Gary's Marquette Park. At the Douglas Center, enjoy the new Nature Play Zone, a place where kids of all ages can investigate the outdoors safely and on their own terms. Families can get a free nature exploration backpack, while supplies last, when they use the new play zone. In addition, visitors can join a ranger for a hike on the new section of the Miller Woods trail that extends to Lake Michigan. They can also explore activity booths hosted by local nature and civic organizations, read about nature in the Gary Public Library's bookmobile, and learn about Green Urbanism. Kids can even complete an activity booklet to become a Junior Ranger.
At Marquette Park, the activities kick off at 10:15 am with a special hike starting at the Marquette Pavilion. Leading the hike will be local resident Marci Crozier who appeared on TV's "Biggest Loser." Marci will discuss the health benefits of walking and hiking outdoors. Visitors can also kayak in the Marquette Park Lagoon, fly a kite by Lake Michigan, join an Adopt-A-Beach Clean-up with the Charter School of the Dunes, and learn about the renovations that have made this Gary park a great place for families to get outdoors and get healthy.
A free shuttle bus will run between the Douglas Center and Marquette Park every 15 to 20 minutes. The shuttle will make its last run at 3:15 pm. The Douglas Center is located at 100 North Lake Street in the Miller section of Gary. For more information about the Nature Play Zone or Green Gary, call the Douglas Center at 219-395-1821 or check out the park's website in mid-April at: www.nps.gov/indu.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is part of the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.