This 50-acre preserve is a unique natural enclave located in the City of Gary.
The site protects globally rare dune-and-swale topography is
characterized by a series of sandy ridges (dunes) alternating with long narrow wetland depressions (swales), all running parallel to the Lake Michigan shoreline. This unique topography formed over the past 5,000 years as the waters of the great lake receded in stages, each time leaving a sandy beach behind.
The black oak savanna and interdunal wetlands communities provide habitat for a diverse variety of flora and fauna. A good variety of spring wildflowers includes wild lupine, wild columbine, and puccoon. A hiking trail begins at the parking lot on Colfax Street.
The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Legacy Foundation, Wildlife Habitat Council, U.S. Forest Service, Gordon & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.
Photos by Ron Trigg
From I-94, exit at Cline Ave. north. Take Cline Ave. to 5th Ave. (U.S. 20). Go east on U.S. 20 to the first traffic signal (Colfax St.). Follow Colfax St. south to the parking lot just before the railroad tracks.
This precious remnant of dune-and-swale landscape protects a splendid savanna habitat interspersed with permanently wet swales. Spring is a special time here: Vistas of freshly green bracken ferns and forests of May apple parasols. Patches of bright-red columbine and spikes of blue lupine. Redwing blackbirds trilling from the marshy areas and chorus frogs calling.
I see beauty in its purest form.