Chesterton Tribune



Save the Dunes 'Living in the Dunes' booklet honored by architects group

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The American Society of Landscape Architects: Indiana Chapter, awarded Hitchcock Design Group--in association with Save the Dunes Conservation Fund, Phenix7 Mktg, and Orbis Environmental Consulting--the prestigious Award of Excellence in the Communication category for the creation and publication Living in the Dunes: A Homeowner’s Guide to Landscaping in Indiana’s Dunes Communities.

Living in the Dunes was a project developed by Save the Dunes to provide tools to nearshore Dunes communities for creating responsible landscapes with native plants. The booklet details resources with which to equip home and business owners with responsible landscape ideas including the identification of 10 problematic invasive plant species found in the region and 20 native plants that could be planted instead.

An invasive species is a plant that is non-native and infests natural areas and causes environmental or economic harm, or harm to human health. Removing invasive plants would not only alleviate pressure from land managers who keep natural areas healthy, but also add a necessary habitat for pollinators.

“It was an honor to accept this award drawing attention to the incredible landscape and diversity of Northwest Indiana,” Save the Dunes Project Coordinator Nathanael Pilla said.

An advisory committee of 13 persons representing private, non-profit, and government entities was assembled to make recommendations in the production of the guide. In a little over a year since its release, the booklet has garnered praise from local advocates, professionals, homeowners, and now the society of landscape architects.

“As a long-time Northwest Indiana resident, the Indiana Dunes is my hiking playground, therefore, I have a personal goal to preserve the Dunes,” Phenix7 Mktg President Gina Altieri said. “Last year, my Phenix7 team and I embraced the opportunity to work closely with the Hitchcock Design Group, the Save the Dunes and Orbis Environmental Consulting in designing and printing the Living In the Dunes booklet.”

“There are so many wonderful native plants in the dunes region that can be used for landscaping that it was a difficult task to limit the number in the guide,” Orbis Senior Botanist Scott Namestnik said. “Through input from various organizations, our team chose 20 plants that are available in the nursery trade, that are native to the dunes ecosystem, and that provide color throughout the year and habitat for native insects and other wildlife.”

“Offering homeowners the ability and power to help transform Northwest Indiana into a sustainable, biodiverse gem is exciting,” Pilla added.

A digital copy of the Living in the Dunes booklet can be freely downloaded at


Posted 10/5/2017




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