Indiana Dunes Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk

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News

Volunteers Needed for BioBlitz at National Lakeshore

April 20, 2016 - Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

The National Park Service at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is looking for volunteers to assist with the Miller Woods BioBlitz on Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21, 2016. A BioBlitz, is a fun, collaborative race against the clock to discover as many species of plants and animals within a set location. Although led by scientists and other professionals, volunteers are needed to help so as many species as possible can be found during the BioBlitz. Scientists will lead groups day and night and each will have a specialized focus. Some will look for birds, plants, amphibians, and a number of other categories.

Volunteers are needed to fill a number of important positions including welcome/registration and check-in, parking lot assistants, photographers, data collection and entry, helping scientists collect data, and staffing education stations inside the Douglas Center. No experience is necessary; just some free time and an interest in helping with a fun and educational event. Training, supplies, and equipment will be provided.

Interested individuals are asked to contact the National Park Service, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Hunter Moseley or Grant Smith at 219-395-1713. Check out Volunteer.gov to discover more volunteer opportunities to in your public lands.

South Shore's bike service starts April 2

March 17, 2016 - Andrew Steele, The Times

PORTAGE — The South Shore commuter rail line's long awaited bikes-on-trains service is set to start April 2 and continue on weekends through the end of October.

Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District General Manager Michael Noland discussed the service at Thursday's Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission meeting.

"For a long, long, long time bikes weren't allowed," Noland noted. "There was a lot of advocacy to make that a reality."

National Park Service to Hire Youth Workers for the Summer

March 2, 2016

INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has jobs for 12teenagers this summer. The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program is a work-learn-earn program for 15-18 year-olds. Deadline to apply is April 22, 2016.

Participants are paid $7.25 an hour for the 40-hour work week. The program runs from June 6 to August 13, 2016, and applicants should be prepared to work the entire length of the program. Youth jobs include working as part of a crew to do a variety of manual labor tasks, normally outdoors. The crews perform work such as staining, painting and caulking the exterior of park buildings and work as grounds maintenance (mowing grass, picking up trash, cleaning restrooms, etc.) and trails rehabilitation.

No experience is necessary. Participants will be selected by random draw from the pool of applications.

National lakeshore superintendent Paul Labovitz invited all interested teenagers to apply. “This is a great chance for local youths to become involved in their national park and earn some money,” said Labovitz. “It’s an opportunity for youths to work outside in the beauty of the national lakeshore and learn more about the area they live in.”

To be eligible participants must be U.S. citizens and 15 years old before June 6, 2016, but not turn 19 years old before August 13, 2016, the ending date of the program. The YCC application form is available through high school guidance offices or from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Office at 219-395-8585, extension 1772. The forms are also available on the national lakeshore website at: http://www.nps.gov/indu/parkmgmt/jobs.htm

It’s all about the Wildflowers at Indiana Dunes in May

May 15, 2015 - Kim Swift, Education Program Manager at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

We have all heard the adage, "April showers bring May flowers." That is especially true here at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. When I hike in May, I try to find three special plants-May Apples, Wild Lupine, and pink Lady's Slippers.

May Apple at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore 

May Apples (Podophyllum peltatum) are part of the spring ephemeral wildflower parade that takes place in rich, clay soils along the Little Calumet River. Check out the Heron Rookery or Little Calumet River trails to see some of these white wildflowers blooming. From early April through May, you can catch different flowers each week. To learn more about early spring wildflowers, check out the short video clip we produced about spring ephemerals recently on our Facebook page here.

Birding Expert and TV Host James Currie to Appear at Indiana Dunes Birding Festival

April 24, 2015 - Brad Bumgardner, Indiana Dunes State Park and Bruce Rowe, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

James Currie, host of the popular TV series Nikon’s Birding Adventures on NBC Sports and Nat Geo Wild TV’s Aerial Assassins, will headline the inaugural Indiana Dunes Birding Festival set to take place May 7–10. The festival features more than 50 different activities including birding field trips, workshops, a live birds of prey talk, and special programs for children and beginning birders. Organized by the Indiana Audubon Society, the festival is hosted by both the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park.

Currie, born in South Africa, but who now lives in Florida, will present the festival’s keynote presentation on Saturday, May 9, at the Spa Banquet Center. The keynote includes dinner, as well as silent auction and vendor marketplace. His presentation, “Not Your Grandma’s Audubon,” looks at Currie’s experiences hosting and producing his birding television series. Mr. Currie worked for over a decade in Africa as a wildlife and birding tour guide before becoming the managing director of the Africa Foundation, a nonprofit working to protect rural lands across Africa. After moving to the U.S., he created his first TV series in 2009 on a regional network in Florida before taking it national in 2012.

To register for the Indiana Dunes Birding Festival Registration go online at: www.indunesbirdingfestival.com. Children’s rates are available. In addition to the festival website, more information can be obtained at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, located at 1215 N. State Road 49, just south of the intersection of 49 and US 20 in Porter, Indiana. Interested participants can also contact the information desk at 219-395-1882 or the State Park Nature Center at 219-926-1390. Visit the park’s on the web at www.nps.gov/indu or www.dnr.in.gov/parklake/2980.htm.