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The Department of Interior has awarded Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore a Unit Award for Excellence of Service presented to the employees, volunteers and partners for their efforts for the National Park Service/National Geographic Society Bioblitz May 15-16, 2009.
National lakeshore superintendent Constantine Dillon commented that “we are honored to receive this award. It is a tribute to everyone who worked to make the Bioblitz a success and those employees, volunteers, and partners who serve our visitors every day.”
Quoting from the Citation signed by Thomas J. Strickland, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks: “Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore hosted the event in partnership with the National Geographic Society and in collaboration with Chicago Wilderness, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and more than 20 other partner organizations. In the event, part scientific endeavor, part outdoor classroom, and part festival, scientist led teams of 5,000 volunteers, including 2,000 school children throughout the park’s 15,000 acres to find and count everything they could in 24 hours. The effort resulted in more than 1,200 species identified including 300 that had not been previously known to be in the park. Many of the school children were brought from the Chicago area by train, thus reducing the carbon footprint of the project. In addition to the inventory, other activities included sustainability presentations, structured field exercises for students, demonstrations of filed technology and exhibits ranging from global diversity to local nature photography. The Celebrate Diversity Festival-Every Species Counts, Especially You, had music, demonstrations on how to live a sustainable life and speakers. The employees, volunteers and partners executed a successful event resulting in good science, increased partnerships, and a positive image for the park and fun for all participants.”
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 392 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore includes 15 miles of the southern shoreline of Lake Michigan and 15,000 acres of beach, woods, marshes, and prairie in the northwest corner of Indiana. More than 2 million visitors come to this national park each year. More information can be found at www.nps.gov/INDU.