The Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) is planning to preserve and restore land for public education and enjoyment.
The nearly 1,630 acres of land will also be a focus for improving the biodiversity and habitats for many of the region’s plant and animal life.
NIPSCO provided nearly $2 million to fund the acquisition and restoration of several local properties. NIPSCO is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
“The protection of our region’s natural environment is not only important to recreation and tourism, but it is critical to our overall health and well-being,” said Kelly Carmichael, vice president of environmental safety and sustainability for NIPSCO and NiSource. “We are proud that this collaborative effort is among some of the largest land conservation and restoration efforts in northwest Indiana’s recent history, and one that will leave a lasting impact on future generations.”
Some of the land, 1,444.6 acres, will involve restoration and another 183.5 acres of land will be protected. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Shirley Heinze Land Trust were among the sites included.
“Project funding will go towards large scale environmental restoration work in and around the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to help combat invasive species and protect and fortify the rich native biodiversity this region is known for globally,” Paul Labovitz, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore superintendent, said.
Projects from the effort included:
- Canonie ‘Discovery School Property’ and Munson Place, Porter County, Indiana (National Park Service)
- Don and Mary Frame Little Calumet Conservation Area, Porter County, Indiana (The Izaak Walton League)
- Little Calumet Wetlands at the Keith Richard Walner Nature Preserve, Chesterton, Indiana (Shirley Heinze Land Trust)
- Liverpool Nature Preserve, Lake Station, Indiana (Indiana Department of Natural Resources)
- McCloskey Burr Oak Savanna Nature Preserve, Hobart, Indiana (Indiana Department of Natural Resources)
- Meadowbrook Nature Preserve, Liberty Township, Indiana (Shirley Heinze Land Trust) Pannes at West Beach, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore West Beach (National Park Service)
- Pinhook Bog, Coolspring Township (National Park Service)
- Smith Family Properties, Porter County, Indiana (Porter County Parks & Recreation)
- South Long Lake Uplands and Wetland Margins, Indiana Dunes (National Park Service)
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