April 18-26 is National Park Week. Those of us living in Northwest Indiana are lucky enough to have a national park in our backyard. There are many ways to celebrate National Park Week. Check out an event hosted by the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore or celebrate National Park Week in your own way.
Green Gary Day
Saturday, April 25th
10:00am – 4:00pm
Celebrate Earth Day by learning about and participating in a variety of environmental activities at your neighborhood national park. The event takes place at the Paul H Douglas Center for Environmental Education and Marquette Park in Gary and will include nature hikes, yoga demonstrations, presentations, arts and crafts, and much more.
• Hike with a ranger around Miller Woods and out to the beach for the more adventurous.
• Participate in restoration work in the oak savanna habitat, cutting out invasive brush from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Save the Dunes will be assisting with the habitat restoration and answering any questions regarding the Oak Savanna Restoration Project.
• Learn about the Buffalo Soldiers with Stagecoach Productions at Marquette Park.
• Talk to a wildland firefighter from the National Park Service fire crew.
• Earn a Junior Ranger badge from the national lakeshore and meet Aida Frey, a junior ranger who has collected more than 250 national park Junior Ranger badges.
In addition to ranger-led events, there are many ways that you can celebrate National Park Week
- Take a hike at an Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore site that you have never visited before. Check out the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s or Beyond the Beach‘s website for some ideas
- Walk along one of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s beaches. Show the park some extra love by picking up trash that you encounter on the beach during your walk.
- Learn about a plant or animal that lives in the Indiana dunes and visit the National Lakeshore to see if you can spot it. Learn first-hand how the park supports a wide range of awesome plant and wildlife.
- Check out the Paul H. Douglas Center. Every Saturday the Douglas Center provides activities, crafts, and educational opportunities.
- Replace the invasive plant species on your property with native ones. Invasive species threaten the biodiversity of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which ranks in the top 7 most biodiverse national parks in the country. Click here to learn more about invasive species in the dunes and what you can do in your garden to reduce their impacts.
- Ask your representatives to restore funding for the National Park Service in 2016. The National Park Service will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2016 and our parks deserve to be looking and feeling their best. Increased funding helps the National Park Service better protect natural resources and create the best experience possible for visitors. As if the National Park Services’ centennial anniversary is not enough to celebrate,2016 is also the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s 50th anniversary. Click here to learn how you can show support for the National Park Service and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.