Audubon Society (DCAS) has joined a number of other organizations in taking
a position against the construction of a 30,000-square foot banquet facility
next to the Pavilion and in front of the beach at Indiana Dunes State Park.
In a statement
released on Thursday, DCAS President Lynda McGinnis said that the beach “is
a terrible place for a big building with huge windows” and refers to
language in the original proposal submitted by Pavilion Partners LLC
promising “window walls” to exploit the view of the lake and the beach.
“This is a
protected natural area,” McGinnis said. “I can’t believe they would do that.
It will kill a lot of birds.”
As McGinnis noted,
Indiana Dunes State Park is a regional hotspot for migrating birds, a fact
much celebrated during the inaugural Indiana Dunes Birding Festival in May,
an event co-hosted by Dunes State Park along with Indiana Dunes National
Lakeshore. “It was so successful that they have announced dates for the next
festival in 2016,” she said.
“It is even more
important during migration,” McGinnis added. “Millions of birds hug the
shoreline during migration and this new building with huge windows will be
right in their way.”
Partners has indicated that it will consider the use of special bird-safe
glass in the banquet facility’s design, the LLC has not yet committed to it.
by citing Chicago Bird Collision Monitors’ estimate that a billion birds are
killed each year in North America as a result of window collisions. “It’s a
bad, bad idea to build a building with big windows right where you know that
millions of birds will pass,” she said.
Audubon Society is an affiliate of the National Audubon Society, a
conservation organization dedicated to the protection of birds and their
To date, the Porter
County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, the Hoosier Environmental
Council, the Hoosier Sierra Club, the Citizens Action Committee, and Save
the Dunes have taken formal positions against the construction of the
banquet facility, the DNR’s lease with Pavilion Partners, and/or what they
consider a lack of transparency in the way the DNR awarded the concession.