Indiana Dunes Country Destination Profile & Press Kit

Ready-to-Run Stories

Each of the following ready-to-run stories may be used by any recognized media source. Images accompanying releases may also be acquired and used. Required photo credits must also be used. Check out the Press Image Library or contact us:

Ken Kosky

Indiana Dunes Tourism Promotions Director

The Birthplace of Ecology

About 50 minutes southeast of Chicago is the birthplace of ecology – the Indiana Dunes of Porter County, Indiana. Located along Lake Michigan’s southern shore are two magnificent feats of nature, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes State Park. Together, they boast coastal beaches, tall sand dunes, wetlands, a wooded forest, bogs and the most diversified plant life in the Midwest. In fact, the National Lakeshore ranks seventh among National Parks for native plant life diversity. More than 90 forms of vegetation are on the state of Indiana’s threatened or endangered list. It was here in the Indiana Dunes that University of Chicago Professor of Botany Dr. Henry Chandler Cowles studied the dunes’ plant life and made significant scientific discoveries about plant succession that led to the development of the study of ecology. Authorized in 1966, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is the nation’s first national park in an urban setting. It covers approximately 15,000 acres, and completely surrounds the State Park.

Ecotourism at the Indiana Dunes

Welcome to the Indiana Dunes, where lake and land were carved out by the Wisconsin Glacier 16,000 years ago during the Ice Age. Here, you’ll witness unparalleled biodiversity that led University of Chicago Professor of Botany Dr. Henry Cowles to develop the study of ecology. Cowles called the dunes “a natural botanical preserve.” Its succession of plant life forms four distinct and unique landscapes as it moves inland: storm beach, with its Russian thistle, seaside spurge and sea-rocket; the marram grass, sand cherry and cottonwood trees of the foredunes; the jack pine, white pine and bearberry of the pine dunes; and the black oak, witch hazel and winged sumac of the hardwood dunes. From the singing sands of coastal beaches to the insect-eating plants of Pinhook Bog, visitors will discover the enigma of arctic and desert vegetation thriving together. Naturalist programs will introduce you to the plants and wildlife of the bogs, marshes, forests, moraines, dunes and ponds that comprise the Indiana Dunes. For information on specific programs and group tours, please contact Niche Marketing Director, Angela Pasak, at (800) 283-8687, ext. 224, or

Press Trips

Indiana Dunes Tourism is ready to assist in your visit to the Indiana Dunes and Porter County’s 11 diverse communities. Indiana Dunes Tourism facilitates media visits by supplying information and recommendations and then customizing itineraries based on a journalist’s interests and assignments.

If you are interested in working with Indiana Dunes Tourism to coordinate your press trip, please contact Promotions Director, Ken Kosky, at (800) 283-8687 or (219) 926-2255, ext. 223 or email

Be prepared to submit:

  • Copies of your most recently published articles.
  • The assigned publication or who you will be pitching.

Research, Trends, Reports

Indiana Dunes Tourism is very research-driven in all of its actions as the official tourism marketing, planning and development organization for Porter County. The commission derives all measures and plans from research, either conducted by the commission, Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission or other reputable research organizations.

Visit the websites below for additional tourism research and statistics: