CHESTERTON - Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is now significantly closer to becoming a National Park. Wednesday, the House Committee on Natural Resources approved Congressman Pete Visclosky’s legislation to designate the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as a National Park. Visclosky says the designation would create the first national park in Indiana and the the 60th national park in the United States and it would have significant advantages.
Visclosky says the real value is that the national park designation would provide greater recognition for the Indiana Dunes as an attraction with the intent of drawing more visitors to our area and hopefully stimulating the local economy.
The Committee approved the legislation, H.R. 1488, the Indiana Dunes National Park Act, by unanimous consent. The measure is now referred to the full House and is expected to be considered in the coming months.
Specifically, H.R. 1488 would retitle the “Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore” as the “Indiana Dunes National Park”. The initial effort to name this area as a National Park began in 1916.
The congressman says the name change is not the hardest thing to do, but he says he would suggest that it took 50 years for the creation of the park in the first instance, subsequently the efforts have been focused on enhancing the existing resource and expanding it.
Visclosky says other than signage, there will be no discernable change to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, should it become a national park.