Some of the finest birding in the state can be had right here in Duneland:
in the woods and wetlands and along the beaches at Indiana Dunes State Park
(IDSP) and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
So itís no surprise that the Chesterton Town Council has jumped at the
chance to become an Indiana Bird Town, a designation awarded by the Indiana
At the councilís meeting Monday night, IDSP interpretive naturalist (and
Audubon board member) Brad Bumgardner asked members to consider applying for
the Indiana Bird Town title, awarded by Audubon to those communities which
demonstrate an active and ongoing commitment to the protection and
conservation of bird populations and habitat.
Indiana Bird Town designees receive a pair of 22íí x 25íí signs with the
Indiana Bird Town logo, special mention on the indianaaudubon.org website,
and an electronic logo which can be used on municipal printed and digital
What Audubon doesnít say is that bird tourism is a huge and growing industry
across the country, with birders willing to travel great distances and spend
good chunks of change for the chance to add new species to their lists.
In particular, Bumgardner said that the Town of Chesterton meets a number of
the criteria set by Audubon for Indiana Bird Town designation:
*Itís a Tree City USA designee.
*Species, population, and migration data have been obtained by local
researchers and volunteers from the local park system.
*The community contains at least part of a formally designated Important
*Chesterton volunteers have participated in the Christmas Bird Count, the
Great Backyard Bird Count, and the Big May Day Count.
As a sweetener, Bumgardner told members that Audubon is waiving the fees for
the first 10 communities to apply for the three-year designation.
Members voted unanimously to apply.