"In 1958, poet Carl Sandburg wrote to Senator Douglas, 'Those (Indiana) dunes are to the Midwest what Grand Canyon is to Arizona and Yosemite is to California. They constitute a signature of time and eternity. Once lost, the loss would be irrevocable.'"
A conservationist invokes the poet in her campaign to stop the development of a mall, restaurant, bars, and a banquet center on the Indiana Dunes lakeshore. Much of the work involves renovating the dilapidated beach house.
From the Michigan City News-Dispatch (note: DNR is the Department of Natural Resources):
Happy 90th birthday, Indiana Dunes State Park! A birthday wish: DNR, break your lease with Pavilion Partners. The lease and private development are in direct conflict with, "the purpose for which state parks were established, namely, to preserve a primitive landscape in its natural condition for the public's use and enjoyment," according to the Indiana State Park Rules website.
The DNR and Pavilion Partners signed a lease, but the contract states it can be broken. The cost to break this lease will never be cheaper.
Determined conservationists have fought to protect this land for future generations for more than a century. Private commercial development, such as remodeling the Pavilion into bars, restaurants and a mini-mall, and building a banquet center would forever change the landscape and character of Indiana Dunes State Park, which has been a wildly successful attraction to our region.
In 1958, poet Carl Sandburg wrote to Senator Douglas, "Those (Indiana) dunes are to the Midwest what Grand Canyon is to Arizona and Yosemite is to California. They constitute a signature of time and eternity. Once lost, the loss would be irrevocable."
Recent budget cuts to Dunes State Park, and funneling its profits to other parks, caused the Pavilion to fall into disrepair. It would be another mistake to allow a few politically connected private investors to commercialize and ruin the peoples' treasure.
Best birthday wishes to you, Indiana Dunes State Park. Please visit DunesAction.org, get involved, and demand the DNR preserve rather than privatize our park. DNR, show us you care, break the lease.