Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Public can comment on Dunes National Lakeshore's new Interpretive Plan

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The National Park Service will seek public input during the second phase of the development of a new Comprehensive Interpretive Plan (CIP) for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

This plan will define the National Lakeshore’s interpretive and education program for the next several years.

Two public comment meetings have been scheduled:

•From 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 15, at the City of Gary’s Main Library building located on the corner of Fifth and Broadway.

•From 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, 1420 Munson Road in Porter.

These meetings will provide an opportunity for interested individuals to make suggestions on the types of interpretation and education programs and other visitor services that could be used to communicate the park themes and to help fulfill identified visitor experiences.

This is the second opportunity during the interpretive planning process that public input has been sought. In March the park hosted two public meetings to solicit foundational materials needed for the plan. Comments were taken on proposed park themes, significance statements, and visitor experiences. These items have since been reviewed and placed in a draft document to be used as a basis for developing specific programs and services at the National Lakeshore. This draft will be available for review and comment at the public meetings and will then be placed on the park's website with all comments received.

Comments can also be sent by e-mail through the park's website at

At the two meetings on May 15, the public will get a chance to give specific suggestions of programs and services that will help support the proposed themes and visitor experiences. These suggestions will be taken into consideration as the National Lakeshore develops specific recommendations during a workshop later during the week.

“Suggestions and views of the public are an important part of the process in which the National Park Service will ultimately make decisions based on a variety of factors, including law, established interpretation standards, national policies, existing plans, budget, and staffing,” the National Park Service said in a statement released on Friday.

“The CIP process helps parks make choices and is written to provide guidance to park staff,” the statement added. “It helps the park decide its education objectives, the programs audiences, and what mix of media and personal services to use. Although the CIP process contains specific elements, good planning is customized to meet an individual park's needs and situations. The CIP is not a recipe; rather it is a guide to effective, goal-driven planning. While it considers past interpretive programming, it is primarily a forward-looking document that concentrates on actions needed to create or sustain a vigorous and effective interpretive program for the future.”



Posted 5/10/2010




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