|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||June 12, 2012|
|Contact:||Naureen Rana, Midwest Program Manager National Parks Conservation Association, P: 312.263.0111; C: 312.835.2667
Alison Zemanski, Media Relations Manager National Parks Conservation Association, P: 202.454.3332; C: 202.384.8762
National Parks Group Connects Students to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore with Advocacy Workshop
U.S. Congressman Pete Visclosky joins discussion about importance for protecting and restoring Great Lakes’ national parks with college students from IN, IL and WI
PORTER, Ind. - The nation’s leading voice for our national parks, the non-partisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), in partnership with the National Park Service, will today host a group of 30 college students from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore for year two of a Great Lakes’ national parks restoration and advocacy workshop. U.S. Congressman Pete Visclosky (IN-1) will join the discussion about the important roles that policy, advocacy, and funding play in protecting and enhancing America’s national parks, particularly at the National Lakeshore.
“As we approach the National Park Service’s centennial and the 50th anniversary of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in 2016, it becomes increasingly clear that the future of our national parks depends upon on a more diverse, youthful and engaged constituency that values the national park idea,” said Naureen Rana, Midwest Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association. “With Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore just a short train ride and a mere 35 miles from Chicago, America’s urban youth can experience our country’s natural and cultural heritage firsthand,” said Rana.
“The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of our region’s greatest assets and its existence and success is due in no small part to the tireless advocacy of local supporters,” said Congressman Pete Visclosky. “It is my hope that this workshop will inspire the next generation of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore advocates as students receive invaluable hands-on experience in maintaining and preserving our national parks.”
In the afternoon, students will work side-by-side with NPS staff to install native plants in an area of the park where invasive cattails have been removed. Students installed more than 2,500 native wetland plants at last year’s advocacy and restoration workshop, which was critical support for the Park Service.
Through education and on-the-ground national park experiences, NPCA continues to work to introduce future generations to the natural and cultural wonders of our national parks. An NPCA report released in 2011, titled National Park, Regional Treasure: The Future of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, highlights the park’s incredible biodiversity and proximity to urban areas, making it a great place for park enthusiasts to discover, experience and preserve these special places for future generations.
“The dedicated source of funding that the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative provides is a critical component for the successful education, awareness and restoration work happening at the park,” said Rana. “We hope to continue the great work happening at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to keep the park a premiere travel destination for the region.”
About National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA): Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice of the American people in the fight to safeguard our National Park System. NPCA, its more than 600,000 members, supporters and partners work together to protect the park system and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for our children and grandchildren. For more information, visit: www.npca.org.