The Dunes National Park Association named new officers recently who will work on committees that will handle the strategic planning, finances, marketing and membership of the organization.
The new slate of officers includes: Speros A. Batistatos, president; Mike Shymanski, vice president; Donna Kuschel, secretary; Robin Carlascio, treasurer.
The Dunes National Park Association is a nonprofit organization that supports the protection, preservation and promotion of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and strives to build a community of supporters dedicated to conserving the park for future generations.
“We are really pleased at the dedication and hard work of the DNPA’s founding president, David Megremis, and we are looking forward to working with Speros and the new officers in the future,” said Constantine Dillon, superintendent of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
Last year, the DNPA was able to identify and work on three initial projects under past president David Megremis.
The DNPA contributed to the Nature in My Neighborhood program by helping to buy 500 backpacks for children who participated at the Paul Douglas Center for Environmental Education. Launched this spring, the backpacks include exploration tools such as a compass, magnifying glass, bug box and other items to encourage the children to continue exploring nature at home and recognize their role in maintaining clean water and clean air in their neighborhood.
Other projects included the purchase of Distance Learning system equipment and and the installation of signs for the park’s Century of Progress Homes historic district.
The Distance Learning program will allow students unable to go to park to learn about the environment and ecosystem from their classrooms. Students will interact with park rangers as they complement their in-class studies.
“It’s important that we work together to educate people on the importance of the dunes,” said Batistatos, also director of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority.