Paul Labovitz, Superintendent of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, says: “The work of Shirley Heinze Land Trust continues to help protect critical lands supporting the National Park Service mission for the benefit of all Americans. We are fortunate in Northwest Indiana to have a land trust to respond to conservation opportunities. We look forward to continued partner successes.”
The largest property involved is 13.73 acres of prairie, originally acquired by Shirley Heinze in 1999 through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency’s North American Wetlands Conservation Act. The land is adjacent to IDNL’s 300-acre Hobart Prairie Grove unit in Lake County, which contains a variety of habitats including wetlands, prairie remnants, white oak flatlands, and a rare bur oak savanna. It protects 343 types of native plants and an abundance of wildlife.
Another 1.88-acre parcel of land adjacent to the southern edge of Mnoke Prairie will now become part of the Bailly/Chellberg and Little Calumet River Trail section of the park in Porter County. The property has been managed jointly since 2007 as a tallgrass prairie restoration project.
An assortment of 16 lots totaling 1.55 acres of wooded dunes becomes part of the Miller Woods portion of the park in Lake County. Another small group of lots totaling 0.18 of an acre has been added to the Tolleston Dunes unit in Porter County.