Bring your kayak or
canoe at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, and celebrate the opening of the
paddling launch at Indiana Dunes National park and the re-opening of several
miles of the East Branch of the Little Calumet River.
Join Save the
Dunes, Northwest Indiana Paddling Association, Shirley Heinze Land Trust,
Dunes Learning Center, and the National Park Service for this special
This event will
not be impacted by the fish kill reported Thursday, which occurred well
downstream from the paddling launch.
meet at the Howe Road Kayak & Canoe Launch, located at 798 Howe Road in
Porter, to receive instructions on parking and the shuttle bus that will
move people between launch sites during the event. The shuttle bus will run
between the Shirley Heinze Land Trustís Keith Richard Walner Nature Preserve
canoe/kayak launch and the Howe Road Launch.
Service and Northwest Indiana Paddling Association staff or volunteers will
provide safety tips for the river. The distance between Walner and Howe Road
is approximately five miles and will take about two hours to complete.
and other recreational enthusiasts have long-awaited improved access to the
East Branch of the Little Calumet River. Save the Dunes, Shirley Heinze Land
Trust, National Park Service, Northwest Indiana Paddling Association, and
the Dunes Learning Center are working to restore habitat and improve access
along the river corridor from Shirley Heinze Land Trustís Dale B. Engquist
Nature Preserve located in Pine Township adjacent to the Heron Rookery,
westward to Lake Michigan.
Over the course of
this project, the river has been opened from Brummitt Road in Westchester
Township to Howe Road in the National Park. The partners expect to open it
up to Ind. 149 by end of summer this year, with plans to continue river
opening activities in 2019 and 2020 towards Lake Michigan.
In addition to
reducing logjams in the river, the partners also want to increase access
into the river, including two canoe/kayak launches on Shirley Heinze Land
Trust sites along the river: the Keith Richard Walner Nature Preserve in
Porter, and the Wykes-Plampin Nature Preserve in Westchester Township, as
well as the new Indiana Dunes National Park launch.
enhancements are not the only goal of this project. Save the Dunes, Shirley
Heinze Land Trust, and the National Park Service are removing invasive
species, felling dead standing ash trees lost to emerald ash borer, and
restoring riparian habitat along the East Branch of the Little Calumet River
through this project to support the ecological health of the river corridor.
The partners extend
a heartfelt thank you to the Chi Cal Rivers Fund partners, National Fish and
Wildlife Foundation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Donnelley Foundation,
ArcelorMittal, Crown Family Philanthropies, REI, and NIPSCO for funding this