of Indiana Dunes Tourism Lorelei Weimer reported progress is being made with
the Native American Trail, which is planned to begin at the Dunes Visitor’s
Center and wind through the surrounding land.
Tourism Board meeting, Weimer said Tourism was awarded a $46,000 Lake
Michigan Coastal Program grant for engineering on the project, and they
still have a $10,000 Porter County Community Foundation grant that expires
at the end of this year at their disposal.
The Coastal grant
is a 50/50 match, but Tourism’s $23,000 can be a combination of funds and
in-kind services. “Our time that’s put into it can be part of that match,”
A request for
proposals for the engineering should follow in the coming months.
In other news,
Weimer reported Rose-Hulman recently finished an engineering report on the
site, and the National Park has granted approval for three buildings to be
built along the trail, as long as they’re for educational purposes.
The trailhead will
be in front of the Visitor Center, and most of the trail will likely be
boardwalked due to wetland conditions.
Tourism has also
had some productive meetings with a Miami tribe based in Fort Wayne and the
Pokagon band of the Pottawatomi on how to most effectively tell stories
about native flora and fauna, according to Weimer.
The stories may end
up told in videos and interpretive signage. One of the key stories that has
emerged from those talks is about the Monarch Butterfly, Weimer said.
“We want it to be
an immersive and engaging experience that will lead people to take action,”
Weimer said. “For example, we want people to go home knowing to plant
milkweed for the Monarch.”
In other business,
Board President Mitch Peters reported the annual Recognition of Service
Excellence (R.O.S.E.) awards luncheon went well. Weimer praised Tourism
Promotions Director Dustin Ritchea for coordinating the event with Visit
Michigan City LaPorte.
reported he toured the Porter County Expo Center, which is currently
undergoing extensive renovations.
“It really looks
nice. It’s gonna be a real asset in the community,” Peters said. “It’s nice
to see the County investing in its existing buildings to try to preserve
Richard Riley reported last month’s Inkeeper’s Tax revenue was $78,233.93--a
4.9 percent increase over April 2018.