Chesterton Tribune



Izaak Walton League honors Norm and Pat Hellmers in battle to protect Dunes Pavilion and beach

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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 beach.

and the single most important reason for that, is the work of Norm and Pat Hellmers, a news release said.



Posted 6/26/2019




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