Celebrating Earth Day with Stewardship

by Cathy Martin, Program Manager, Save the Dunes

On Earth Day, Steel City Academy students joined Save the Dunes and the National Park Service in removing invasive bush honeysuckle ​from panne habitat on City of Gary property next to Miller Woods. The volunteer day marked the groundbreaking of a collaborative project between the National Park Service, Save the Dunes, City of Gary, and the Town of Ogden Dunes to restore panne habitat across jurisdictional boundaries. Pannes are incredibly diverse, rare habitats unique to the Great Lakes and Cape Cod. While small in size, pannes are home to over 200 native plants species in Northwest Indiana, 20 of which are state listed endangered species. Learn more about the panne restoration project here. Many thanks to Steel City Academy students for helping us knock out a huge stand of bush honeysuckle and have fun doing it!

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The panne restoration project is made possible by a grant from the Sustain Our Great Lakes Program-- a public-private partnership that sustains, restores and protects fish, wildlife and habitat in the Great Lakes basin by leveraging funding, building conservation capacity, and focusing resources toward key ecological issues.