In August 2013, the superintendent of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (now called Indiana Dunes National Park) asked if the Park Trust would acquire, hold title to, and then donate land to the park. The property, in Porter County, extended the parkland and boundary to connect with the park visitor center. Before NPS received the land, the visitor center was outside the park. The land was acquired in June 2014 and conveyed to the National Park Service in November 2016.

Maps showing where parts of the property were donated

The addition expands the park boundary to connect the visitor center, which was surrounded by private land, with the rest of the park. Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), a subsidiary of NISOURCE Energy funded the purchase of the parcels as part of a $1.5 million EPA consent decree, with National Park Trust acting as its land mitigation partner. Adding about 32 acres to the park prevented the land from being developed; it is planned for exhibits on restoration methods used throughout the lakeshore. Adjacent property of 4.5 acres, which was donated to the Duneland Charter School, was also part of this project.

Project Details:

Project Years: 2014-2016

Parcel Size: 36.8 acres 

Project Cost: approx. $632,300

Long term significance:

  • Land immediately around the park visitor center will remain open and undeveloped greenspace
  • Creates additional buffer land between park and development in the area

Value to the public: 

  • The lands around the visitor center can be used for educational and interpretive services and programs that will enhance the visitor experience
Butterflies found at the park
Bluebirds found flying about the park