Press Release Jun 6, 2014

Students Help Restore Wetlands and Improve Great Lakes Water Quality at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

NPCA hosts college student volunteers in third year of restoration work at Great Marsh

The nation’s leading voice for our national parks, the non-partisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), will today host a group of college students from Illinois and Indiana at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore for the third year of restoration work at the Great Marsh.

Students will work side-by-side with NPS staff to install native plants in an area of the marsh where invasive cattails have been removed. The Great Marsh formed approximately 4,000 years ago and was an open body of water comprised of one watershed which flowed to Lake Michigan through Dunes Creek. Industrial and residential development in the early twentieth century have caused the marsh to be reduced in size and split into three watersheds. It continues to be a challenge to keep native plants, insects, birds, and animals thriving in the wetlands area. Since the start of NPCA’s student volunteer program three years ago, participants have planted more than 5,000 native wetland plants, providing critical support for the park and the National Park Service.

“Having a strong group of volunteers is important for the National Lakeshore, especially when national park budgets are tight and the ability to hire seasonal staff is a challenge,” said LeAaron Foley, NPCA’s Midwest Senior Outreach Coordinator. “Student volunteers have the opportunity to spend the day in a national park and the park gets the benefit of their stewardship.”


About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit