Dune Acres dedicated to neighbors, environment

2013-03-03T00:00:00Z Dune Acres dedicated to neighbors, environmentBy Heather Augustyn Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

DUNE ACRES | Dune Acres was incorporated as a town in 1923 with a population of 16 people living in five homes. They wanted to develop an upscale community in the Indiana Dunes on the shores of Lake Michigan akin to those on Chicago’s North Shore.

The developers' initial step was to lay out Dune Acres’ first subdivision, which included about 175 acres. Since then, eight more subdivisions have been added in the town’s 587 acres and the population has grown to 182, according to the 2010 census.

John Sullivan, president of the Dune Acres Town Council, says residents have seen a few projects take place in recent months.

“There was a lot of wind damage done to the clubhouse roof after Sandy. The whole building had to be reroofed and we have just about completed this project," he said.

"The clubhouse is important to our town because of the history of this building. Our clubhouse is a log structure that was built in 1927, and we rent it out to our residents and use it for the town’s social events,” Sullivan said.

The town’s environmental committee also has been restoring the town's natural beauty.

“They’ve been pretty active and we’ve restored some parklands, eliminating invasive species such as garlic mustard and oriental bittersweet which is like kudzu in this area, it’s so aggressive," Sullivan said.

"... We worked with the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on a controlled burn to restore the prairie because it benefits us both, and it worked out really well. We have more beach than I've seen up here in 20 years because Lake Michigan is so low.”

When it comes to infrastructure, Sullivan said, the town has done a lot of repaving this past year.

"We have 7.2 miles of road in our town and we probably repaved 20 percent of these roads. Our demographics are holding steady with 164 homes and there are two new houses going up, which is nice,” he said.

Some famous people have called Dune Acres home over the years, including Illinois Sen. Paul Douglas, who authored legislation in the 1960s to establish the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, along with the help of many other regional pioneers, and Jack Knight, a famous World War I-era aviator.

When it comes to the future, Sullivan says the residential town has very little on the horizon. “We keep talking about a new town hall but budgets go down every year, so it’s on a wish list,” he says.

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