by Katie Hobgood, Program Director, Save the Dunes
Save the Dunes is calling on community members to help inform our work on a project regarding increased future development in Northwest Indiana. We've created a survey, and we need to hear from you! Your participation not only shapes our message, but it also enters you into a drawing to receive a Save the Dunes gift basket! Continue reading to learn more about this project, and be sure to click on the survey link at the bottom.
Indiana Dunes National Park ranks as one of the top ten most biodiverse parks in the National Park System. It is home to nearly 1,200 native plant species, globally imperiled habitats, and state and federally endangered plant and wildlife, all within steps to a number of densely populated communities in Northwest Indiana. The urbanized and industrial setting of the Indiana dunes contributes to the prosperity, diversity, and quality of life in Northwest Indiana. While the variety of land uses is part of our regional identity, the complex landscape threatens high-quality natural resources and makes them more susceptible to the impacts of pollution, invasive species, habitat degradation, and other stressors. With regional development projects such as the South Shore Double Track on the horizon, pressures on the fragile habitats of the Indiana dunes will likely increase. The South Shore Line’s Double Track project will decrease commute time into and out of Chicago, increase train frequency, and improve accessibility through enhanced stations and platforms. Because of these improvements, it is also likely to result in increased development in our region.
Save the Dunes is in the process of assessing current land use plans and relevant policies in priority communities surrounding the Indiana dunes, and identifying opportunities to promote policies, best management practices and other tools to support growing communities while protecting surrounding natural resources. Opening a dialogue with community members and representatives, planners, and elected officials will provide Save the Dunes and other conservation partners with the opportunity to become familiar with community visions and offer insight into the importance of maintaining ecological health, including ecosystem function, recreational benefits, and quality of life.
Community Survey - We Need Your Feedback
When we talk with municipal leaders, we want to include the concerns and priorities of community members. What are your concerns about future development? What areas do you want to see protected?
Please complete this survey to share your insights, and you will be entered to receive a Save the Dunes gift basket!
Learn more about the South Shore Line Double Track project
South Shore Double Track Website
This community engagement effort was made possible by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Lake Michigan Coastal Program.