Celebrate National Public Lands Day with Save the Dunes
Michigan City, IN— On Saturday, September 26, residents and visitors who enjoy places like our Indiana dunes will join hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans at public land sites across the country to give back to the lands where we play, learn, exercise, and relax in celebration of the 27th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD). Founded in 1994, NPLD has been recognized as a day to volunteer to protect our public lands as well as to celebrate them through various recreational activities. This year, COVID-19 has limited or changed the number of events that are taking place throughout the nation. However, organizations like Save the Dunes are meeting the challenge by creating new ways to celebrate NPLD through activities that support social distancing. One such event is the 2020 Save the Dunes’ Dunes Dash – a virtual 5K run/walk to support the Indiana dunes.
The virtual race will take place September 19 – 26 with registered participants completing 3.10 miles at the place and pace of their choice. Registered participants will receive a commemorative t-shirt in the mail or available for pick up prior to the event. T-shirts are only guaranteed to those who register on or before August 31. All funds raised will be used to support Save the Dunes' programmatic work to enhance and protect one of our region’s favorite public lands – the Indiana Dunes National Park.
“We wanted to do something to encourage everyone to celebrate National Public Lands Day, but in a way that meets everyone’s individual comfort level during these uncertain times,” said Natalie Johnson, Executive Director, Save the Dunes. “Taking our 2020 Dunes Dash virtually allows participants to support and celebrate public lands such as our Indiana Dunes National Park where ever they want and whenever they want during the week of the event. It also encourages people to simply get outside and connect to nature in our own communities, even while social distancing.”
Save the Dunes has long been a supporting organization of Northwest Indiana’s public lands, with much of its programmatic focus aimed towards protecting and enhancing the Indiana Dunes National Park. In 1952, Save the Dunes was formed under the call to action to ‘save the dunes’ through the establishment of a National Park. In 1966, the National Lakeshore (now named a National Park) was successfully established, and since then it has been Save the Dunes’ mission to ensure its protection through advocacy, conservation efforts, and community engagement.
“Save the Dunes is committed to using funds raised through the 2020 Dunes Dash to support activities that protect the Indiana dunes for the enjoyment of future generations. We also encourage individuals and families to look for other activities to help support our public lands – not just on National Public Lands Day alone, but throughout the entire year.”
Those interested in participating in the 2020 Dunes Dash in celebration of NPLD are encouraged to register at savedunes.org.