Dune Acres energized in being 'a sleepy place'

2012-03-04T00:00:00Z Dune Acres energized in being 'a sleepy place'By Scott Lawson scott.lawson@nwi.com, (219) 852-4315 nwitimes.com

DUNE ACRES | While some communities look to change, Dune Acres finds its charm in remaining "a constant."

Aside from a few lots for sale along a few new homes being built or older homes being renovated, the town has had very few changes. And it plans very few changes in the near future as well.

"Very little happens here of any major import," Town Council President Jeffrey Swoger explained.

The town, with its one road in and many trails out to the Indiana Dunes, has had a small project of helping the local environment by "prudently" cutting down some trees in an effort to help undergrowth, Swoger said.

"The environment has always been the focus of the town," said Swoger, who has lived in the community for about a decade.

Dune Acres began as a summer resort in the 1920s with about 15 residents in five homes. Through the decades, it has grown slowly. According to the town's website, it has about 165 single-family homes.

And that's pretty much it. The town is all residential. There are no industries. No businesses. Walking through town has much of the feel of a state park.

"Basically, it's a pretty sleepy place," Swoger said. And while it isn't always convenient to drive to Chesterton for a carton of eggs or quart of milk, the slow motion of the town is what residents enjoy, he said. "It has much more of a country feel. And really that's what its charm is."

Dune Acres has cycles of two types of people who live there, he said. As a longtime resort, there are times where more residents are part-timers whose second homes are in the town. And, just the opposite, there are times when more homes are primary residences for those living in the town.

Right now, the cycle is leaning more toward full-time residents, Swoger said.

"A lot of people who live here now came here as children and when they grew up, they looked at moving here," he said.

Those residents keep the town vibrant, Swoger added.

"There are so many residents that volunteer their time, energy and resources that keep the town thriving and the wonderful place that it is. Without them, it would wither away and die."

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