Save the Dunes held its annual membership meeting on Sunday, October 27. The annual meeting is an opportunity for the organization’s 600+ members to celebrate the year’s accomplishments, discuss priorities going forward, and to elect new board members.
Executive Director Nicole Barker and staff provided an overview of Save the Dunes’ impact in 2013, as well as a number of exciting projects underway. Major achievements included acquiring five parcels within the boundary of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore that will be donated to the park, ensuring that Independent Environmental Monitors are part of state permits for Enbridge’s tar sands pipeline through our region, completing a major water detention basin retrofit to benefit water quality and aquatic habitat in Valparaiso, kicking off a multi-year watershed study of the East Branch of the Little Calumet River, reviving a regional Septic System Task Force, and restoring wetlands in Hobart and dune and swale habitat in Gary. “This year has been truly exciting at Save the Dunes,” Barker said. “Our staff and board remain deeply committed to protecting the Indiana dunes and look forward to the year ahead.”
Save the Dunes also unveiled its new website (savedunes.org), where our members can learn more about our work, have access to new media that tells the history of the organization, and get real-time information about key issues and how members can get involved.
The membership of Save the Dunes elected three new board members. Dale Engquist is the former Superintendent of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and today is active in a number of local conservation organizations. LeAaron Foley is the Midwest Senior Outreach Coordinator at the National Parks Conservation Association and a passionate advocate for our national parks. Scott Kosik is a Financial Analyst at Horizon Bank and an avid fisherman and outdoorsman. Board president Ryan Strode stated, “We are really excited to welcome our new board members, who bring a wealth of expertise and a strong passion for the Indiana Dunes.”