The Porter County
Chapter of the Izaak Walton League has announced that members Norman and Pat
Hellmers were recently honored with the Izaak Walton League of America’s
Indiana Division Environmental Achievement Award for 2019.
The award honors
their role in the League’s Dunes Action committee opposing the Indiana
Department of Natural Resources’ plans to build a new commercial banquet
facility on the beach at the Indiana Dunes State Park.
Norm Hellmers had a
31 year career with the National Park Service (NPS). The last half of that
was as the superintendent of The Lincoln Boyhood Home, and Lincoln Home
Historical Sites. Prior to the NPS, he worked for the Nebraska Game and
Parks Commission and much of his career involved the restoration and
preservation of historic structures.
The IWLA Indiana
Division, IWLA-Porter County Chapter, and Dunes Action support appropriate
restoration and use of the current Pavilion while opposing the commercial
banquet hall on the beach in the Indiana State Park.
Dunes Action drew
support from hundreds of Northwest Indiana residents through a petition
drive, post card and letter campaign and attenddance at numerous public
meetings with the goal of preventing privatization of the park.
In a news release
the League said Norm and Pat have committed hours of research into state and
federal legislation and rules to stop the banquet hall and to guide the
redevelopment of the Pavilion into something that will serve the beach-using
public. Into year four of the project, there is still no banquet hall on the
and the single most
important reason for that, is the work of Norm and Pat Hellmers, a news