Proposed new National Park clears Congressional hurdle

Indiana Dunes National Seashore.

Indiana Dunes National Seashore.

News

Author: Steven Shaw
Date: 11.03.17

Our nation’s 60th national park is one-third of the way to becoming a reality. The U.S. Congress unanimously voted in favor of H.R. 1488 on Wednesday. The legislation would make the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore our 60th national park.

If the Senate approves the bill and President Trump signs it into law, the national park designation would consist of 15,000 acres along the southern tip of Lake Michigan.

The bill’s sponsor, Indiana Rep. Pete Visclosky, spoke with the Northwest Indiana Times.

"While this is a small change, it would have an enormous benefit of rightly placing the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore where it belongs as the nation's 60th national park and the first national park in the state of Indiana," Visclosky said.

It has long been known that a national park designation draws more visitors to an area, which is something Indiana lawmakers expect to occur should the bill become law.

Calls for Indiana Dunes to become a national park are not a new phenomenon. In fact, there was a meeting held in 1916, the year National Park Service was founded, to discuss the possibility of turning Indiana Dunes into a national park. World War I derailed that plan, but Indiana Dunes State Park was established in 1925. Then, in 1966, it received the national lakeshore designation.

If Indiana Dunes become a national park, really only the name will change. The incredible outdoor recreation opportunities and stunning scenery would remain the same.

Indiana Dunes offers opportunities for relaxing on the beach, swimming, bird watching, fishing, horseback riding, winter sports, and, of course, hiking. In fact the seashore has more than 50 miles of incredible hiking trails.

Hiking Trail Guide for the Indiana Dunes.

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