Rep. Lisa Beck leads Indiana House in recognition of Indiana Dunes National Park
INDIANAPOLIS – Representative Lisa Beck (D-Lakes of the Four Seasons) led Indiana House members in recognizing Indiana Dunes as our state’s first national park.
Accompanying Beck was the Park Superintendent Paul Labovitz and various park rangers and partners of Indiana Dunes National Park.
Congress designated Indiana Dunes as the 61st national park in the United States in February, bringing a successful conclusion to an effort that began in 1916, when Stephen Mather, the first director of the National Park Service, recommended the move. In 1926, the Indiana General Assembly designated the Indiana Dunes as a State Park in order to preserve a portion of Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline, as well as the sand dunes and wetlands for all Hoosiers and visitors. Congress designated the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in 1966 in order to maintain 15,000 acres of land for public access and recreation.
“Indiana Dunes is the most visited attraction in our state, drawing more than 3.5 million visitors each year from around the world,” Beck said. “It only makes sense that our beautiful dunes receive the recognition they deserve as one of the nation’s 418 treasures, open to all.”
Beck noted that the unique biological diversity and geographical features along Lake Michigan’s shoreline have been a boon for the economy in Northwest Indiana, creating more than $111 million annually in state and local revenue, supporting 5,500 jobs, and generating more than $475 million in economic impact.
“Even though Indiana Dunes is our newest national park, it already ranks in the top ten in terms of visitation,” Beck said. “The designation simply confirms what so many of us have known: Indiana Dunes is part of what makes our state so great. Whether you’re from Michigan City or Evansville, you have something that no one else in the nation has and that is one of the most beautiful and diverse shorelines of the United States.”