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Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore scraps LyCoKiWe and Inland Marsh names for more historic ones

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The National Park Service (NPS) will be renaming two areas of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to better represent the natural resources of the park

According to a statement released today, the area now known as Inland Marsh will be renamed Tolleston Dunes, while the area now known as the Ly-Co-Ki-We Trail will be renamed the Glenwood Dune Trail.

The National Lakeshore was established to protect and preserve the unique natural resources at the tip of Lake Michigan, originally formed some 14,000 years ago when the Wisconsin glacier, the last glacier to cover this region, began melting. As the ice melted, Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes were left behind. On Lake Michigan, as many as seven successive shorelines were formed during the melting process, giving rise to our modern day beaches, sand dunes, and interdunal wetlands.

Today, four major dune complexes are preserved and can be seen within Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Beginning with the current shoreline and moving inland into progressively older dunes, they include the present dune formation, known as the Tolleston Dunes, and the older Calumet Dunes and Glenwood Dunes.

The Calumet Dunes are highlighted in the National Lakeshore’s Calumet Dune Trail in the east district of the park. However, there are no places in the park named for the Tolleston Dunes or the Glenwood Dunes. Both are “significant park resources and a major consideration in how the park was established and where the boundaries were located,” NPS said. “It is appropriate that these significant resources be highlighted on the landscape.”

Farthest inland are the Glenwood Dunes, representing the oldest of three earlier shorelines and dating to about 14,000 years ago. One of the best places to see this dune line in the park is in the area around the Ly-Co-Ki-We Trail. “The name Ly-Co-Ki-We is not a Native American name and has no historic connotation with the area,” NPS said. “Renaming this trail the Glenwood Dune Trail is a more accurate name for this part of the national Lakeshore and will emphasize this geological feature.”

The Tolleston Dunes, meanwhile, dating from about 4,500 years ago, can be seen in the area now called Inland Marsh, named for the former Inland Steel Corporation which once owned part of this area. But “most of the area is actually savanna, dunes, and marsh,” NPS said. “Inland Marsh is inaccurately named and the name does not appropriately encompass the adjoining savanna and dunes areas that have become part of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Renaming this location Tolleston Dunes gives definition to this section of the park and lets visitors know where to find the third of the historic shorelines.”

Charlotte Read, with her husband Herb a long-time advocate for the Indiana Dunes, favor the name changes. “Herb and I lived for many years on a dune where the Calumet Dunes and Glenwood Dunes intersect,” she said. “Just a few steps north of our former home is my favorite National Lakeshore hiking trail, now called the Ly-co-ki-we Trail. I support renaming it the Glenwood Trail, which tells hikers as they trek eastward that the higher dunes they see are part of the Glenwood stage of dune development. Changing Inland Marsh to the Tolleston Dunes will also help folks become more geologically savvy."

Dr. Ken Schoon, author of the book Calumet Beginnings, agrees. “I welcome the change in names because these new designations will make it easier for both visitors and local residents to understand the area’s rich geological history,” he said. “The National Lakeshore contains diverse ecosystems. The older Glenwood Dunes for instance look different from and have different vegetation than the younger Tolleston and recent dunes. Once these names are on lakeshore maps, visitors can easily go from one dune complex to the next and see the differences for themselves.”

“Taken as a whole, the Tolleston Dunes area, Calumet Dune Trail, and Glenwood Dune Trail will help visitors better understand the geological and geographic resources of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore,” NPS said. “The new names also illustrate why the founders of the national park chose areas inland from the shore for protection and inclusion in the park boundaries.”

The name changes will take effect this month. But “it will take time to change signs and publications,” NPS added. “The National Park Service will refer to the new and old names of these areas for some time until the full transition to the new names is completed.”

 

 

Posted 10/3/2012