Government shutdown could force closure of National Lakeshore

2011-04-06T19:00:00Z 2011-04-17T03:18:44Z Government shutdown could force closure of National LakeshoreBy Lauri Harvey Keagle lauri.keagle@nwi.com, (219) 852-4311 nwitimes.com

If lawmakers are unable to come to an agreement by Friday night on legislation to fund the federal government through September, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore will be closed.

"We remain hopeful that there will not be a government shutdown," said Kendra Barkoff, press secretary for the U.S. Department of the Interior. "However, as President Obama stated, in the unfortunate event there is a shutdown, the national park system will be closed."

Local officials with the National Lakeshore declined comment on the matter, directing calls to Barkoff's Washington, D.C., office.

The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 394 national park system properties. It includes 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 15,000 acres of beach, woods, marshes and prairie.

The National Lakeshore receives more than 2 million visitors annually.

As word of a possible government shutdown of the park system circulated Wednesday morning, the National Lakeshore issued a news release about upcoming events planned for National Park Week April 16 through 24, including a volunteer cleanup of invasive plants and the launch of a new partnership with Porter Health System to encourage people to use the park to improve their health.

Other upcoming events include an Earth Day celebration April 30.

The National Lakeshore's Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education in Gary also hosts a family day from 1 to 3 p.m. every Saturday, which would be affected by the closure.

 

 

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