Save the Dunes, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources are partnering to undertake significant ecological restoration of a total of 1,077 acres of black oak savanna habitat beginning this summer. The National Lakeshore will be restoring 1,045 acres of rare native black oak savanna habitat in its Miller Woods and Tolleston Dunes units, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will be restoring oak savanna habitat in 32 acres of the Indiana Dunes State Park near Trails 9 and 10. The total project cost is $1,000,000.
Black oak savanna- a diverse and unique habitat – is a disappearing ecosystem that is nearly lost from our planet. It is estimated that less than 0.02% of high quality oak savanna remains in the Midwest, a region that used to have a great abundance of this ecosystem. The remnant black oak savanna habitat in the Indiana dunes is threatened due to the overgrowth of invasive species that limit the growth of native wildflowers and grasses.
The 1,077 acre restoration project will begin this summer and continue through summer of 2015. Visitors to the parks may notice equipment, woody debris piles, and periodic noise during the project. It may become necessary to close trails for a day or more to ensure visitor safety as workers carry out the restoration activities. Any temporary closures will be posted on the park website at http://www.nps.gov/indu.
Click here to learn more about this unique restoration project.