Photo Credit: IDNR/Outdoor Indiana magazine
Photo Credit: IDNR/Outdoor Indiana magazine

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has been awarded a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant for a tree planting project in the Indiana Dunes State Park campground. Save the Dunes was proud to be a critical partner; we helped draft the grant application and are so happy the funds were secured.

In recent years, a large scale die-off of trees has occurred in the campground due to a lack of age diversity in the trees. Through funding from the GLRI, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will reforest the campground area with approximately 80 new trees of varying ages and species. While a number of species will be planted, predominantly red, white, and black oak, all species will be native.

Replacing dying trees with healthy ones will:

  • Help stabilize the nearshore habitat along Dunes Creek;
  • Reduce erosion and resulting sedimentation loads into the river, and, subsequently, Lake Michigan;
  • Provide wildlife habitat;
  • Help regulate temperatures in the campground; and
  • Enhance visitor experience

Providing the best experience possible at the State Park is crucial in attracting and maintaining visitors, and a comfortable, secluded, and aesthetically pleasing campground is an important component of visitor experience.

Cathy Martin, Parks Program Coordinator at Save the Dunes says, “The Indiana Dunes State Park is an ecological and recreational asset to Northwest Indiana, and Save the Dunes is happy to see the park receiving the funding and care it deserves. The tree planting project will benefit habitat in the campground, help protect Dunes Creek and Lake Michigan from erosion, and ensure that visitors continue to have a pleasant experience camping at the Indiana Dunes State Park for years to come.”

This GLRI grant was secured as a collaborative effort between Save the Dunes and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

“Save the Dunes is thrilled to offer support to both the Indiana Dunes State Park and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore through locating and securing funding, leveraging volunteer efforts, and bolstering appreciation for the parks. We are incredibly grateful for the partnerships we have maintained and strengthened with the parks, and we look forward to future collaborations”, said Nicole Barker, Executive Director of Save the Dunes.

Ginger Murphy of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources adds, “This is yet another great example of a natural resource conservation and management project that will be achieved through partnerships at Indiana Dunes State Park, and we appreciate the cooperation and support provided by GLRI and Save the Dunes.”

Planting activities for the project will likely take place in spring of 2015. Please contact the Indiana Dunes State Park’s property manager, Brandt Baughman, for more information at 219-926-1952.

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