NWIvoter

  1. Save the Dunes has been doing admirable work since the 1950s, as well.

    I don't know the exact reasons why this new organization was formed, but I will take them at their word. According to the Chesterton Tribune, the Dunes National Park Association reached out to Park Director Costa Dillon sometime within the last two years while they were forming the group. I assume that means they get along with him and his vision for the Park. I don't see why that is a bad thing.

    It is usually a good sign when multiple organizations spring up to support something. It means that a lot of people are using their resources to promote and build something they believe in. Just because we have the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore doesn't mean that we should not also have a State Park, Shirley Heinze, or local branches of the Sierra Club, the Audobon Society, and the League of Conservation voters. I would hope they are all supporting the same greater cause.
    May 24, 2012 7:06 pm on EDITORIAL: New Dunes group offers needed support
  2. RealTimePundit,

    You highlight a number of important issues, but you're pointing the finger at the wrong person as to whom should fix the problems.

    The Park Director, Costa Dillon, cannot lobby for more funding for the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. I know that doesn't seem to make much sense, but that is the way federal laws are written. Federal employees cannot lobby the federal government, private organizations, charities, and other non-governmental organizations for funding.

    In places like the Grand Canyon and Arcadia National Park in Maine, non-profit organizations apply for grants and lobby public officials to support those parks. Their actions lead to a better run park, better political accountability, a general increase in the number of visitors to the park, and an improvement in the quality of experiences in the park. Private support for the park also leads to a dramatic overall increase in the economies surrounding the park whether due to tourism, infrastructure repair, or otherwise.

    I don't know why the Good Fellow Lodge keeps coming up. There are myriad ways to use $8 million to improve the park. I, for one, hope that bike and walking paths can link the park together, and then link northwest Indiana to Chicago and Michigan. It is ridiculous that I have to walk down Route 12 and through central Michigan City whenever I want to get from Mount Baldy to the Michigan City lighthouse, zoo, marina area. There isn't a walking path between one of the region's biggest tourist attractions and the closest city to it!

    The park and Costa Dillon might have plans to do these kinds of things in the future. I just don't know what they are. However, the Dunes National Park Association seems like it will work together with the park and our local communities to make a better experience for all.
    May 24, 2012 3:27 pm on EDITORIAL: New Dunes group offers needed support
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