ROSE Luncheon to honor businesses, people who offer best service

  • Posted on Friday, March 7th, 2014
  • by Administrator in
  • Events, News
Seven Peaks Waterpark Duneland won a ROSE award in 2013

Seven Peaks Waterpark Duneland won a ROSE award last year

Industrial Revolution Eatery & Grille in Valparaiso won a ROSE award last year.

Industrial Revolution Eatery & Grille in Valparaiso won a ROSE award last year.

Indiana Dunes Tourism is inviting individuals and businesses throughout Northwest Indiana to attend the annual ROSE Awards luncheon, an event that honors those who provide the best service to visitors and residents alike.

The ROSE (Recognition of Service Excellence) luncheon, which is set for 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 8, at Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, takes place each year during National Travel and Tourism Week. The luncheon is hosted by Indiana Dunes Tourism, which is the official tourism bureau of Porter County, and Visit Michigan City LaPorte Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Among the awards presented each year are best restaurant, best hotel, best retail store, best attraction and best service industry professional.

Tickets are $40 (or $295 for a table of eight). To reserve a spot, send a check to Indiana Dunes Tourism, 1215 N. State Road 49, Porter, IN 46304. For more information, call 219-926-2255.

Indiana Dunes Tourism is also accepting nominations for awards. Click here to nominate a business or person, or send the nominee’s name, their place of business and town, and a brief explanation of why they deserve a ROSE Award to the above address.

The awards each year go to those who go above and beyond to provide a great experience to their visitors.

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Check out the winter fun at Indiana Dunes State Park
Shelf ice photo by Air One Aerial Photography.

Shelf ice photo by Air One Aerial Photography.

There’s still time to view the beautiful shelf ice along Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes State Park. It’s a chance to see an Arctic environment without having to leave the area.

People are invited to walk along the shore and view the shelf ice for themselves (just don’t walk on the shelf ice because it’s dangerous), or attend the Shelf Ice Exploration Program set for 2 p.m. CST on Saturday, March 22.

This program will teach how the ice forms and attendees will get a bird’s-eye view of the ice from atop the historic beach pavilion.

Visitors to Indiana Dunes State Park can also participate in a contest by guessing when a large snow pile will melt, with the closest entry winning a 2014 DNR Annual Entrance Permit.

This is the third consecutive year the park has hosted its snowmelt contest. The snow pile is in the beach auxiliary parking lot, next to the park’s main gate.

“The cold and snowy winter has created a sizeable pile,” said interpretive naturalist Brad Bumgardner. “The park will maintain the pile should Mother Nature bring us more snow, but no other alterations will be done.”

Submit predictions at the park office and nature center, or by emailing your name, address, and date and time you think the snow pile will melt to The park also allows entries via its Facebook page. Incomplete submissions are not eligible.

The submission deadline is March 14. Hints and updates on expected melt dates will be offered on the Facebook page.

For more information about the shelf ice program or the snow pile melt contest, call (219) 926-1390.

Indiana Dunes State Park is at 1600 North 25 E. Chesterton, 46304.


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Get an Early Taste of Spring at National Lakeshore’s Maple Sugar Time

  • Posted on Thursday, February 27th, 2014
  • by Administrator in
  • Uncategorized
Chellberg Farm.

INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE – Warm up with an early taste of spring at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s annual Maple Sugar Time. The historic Chellberg Farm will be bustling with the activities of maple sugaring from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  on the weekends of March 1 & 2 and March 8 & 9, 2014. Join park rangers and volunteers for this fun and educational event marking the unofficial start of spring in dune country.

Enjoy Maple Sugar Time.

Enjoy Maple Sugar Time.

See how American Indians first boiled maple sap into sugar and learn how the early settlers used large iron kettles to create syrup. Then, stand in the warm steam of the sugar shack where sap is still boiled down the way the Chellberg family did it back in the 1930s. Try your hand at drilling a tap hole, lugging heavy sap buckets using an old-fashioned yoke, or just enjoying a free taste of pure maple syrup! Admission for all activities is free.

Over the past 400 years, pure maple sugar and syrup have played very different roles in the lives of dune’s residents. This difference is as much a result of our changing relationship to our natural resources as it is a change in technology. Take a short, easy stroll down the farm trail on this self-guided program to learn more about this part of our shared heritage. Along the way, help the kids complete a junior ranger activity sheet so they can earn a free Junior Ranger Heritage Patch. Then warm up in the farm house and collect recipes featuring maple syrup. Pure maple syrup and sugar, and related products, will be for sale on site.

Maple Sugar Time takes place at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s Chellberg Farm on Mineral Springs Road between U.S. 20 and Highway 12 in the central portion of the national lakeshore. For more information on this or other programs at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, visit the park website or contact the park’s information desk at 219-395-1882.

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Official 2014 Porter County Activities Guide available

State Park
The 2014 Indiana Dunes Country Activities Guide.

The 2014 Indiana Dunes Country Activities Guide.

   By Ken Kosky

The official 2014 Indiana Dunes Country Activities Guide, which is a comprehensive guide to Porter County’s attractions, restaurants, accommodations and more, is now available.

The free guide, produced by Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism bureau of Porter County, is being distributed to potential visitors in an effort to get them to visit and spend their dollars in the local communities.

Local residents are also welcome to pick up a copy at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, located at 1215 N. State Road 49 in Porter. Everyone who picks up the guide in person will receive four free Indiana Dunes Country postcards.

Indiana Dunes Tourism Executive Director Lorelei Weimer said the Activities Guide is a valuable tool that visitors and residents can use to find fun things to do in each community.

“The Activities Guide is our signature publication, featuring everything from family-friendly attractions to the latest dining options throughout Porter County,” Weimer said.

The guide features listings for Indiana Dunes beaches and hiking trails, theaters, and places for family fun like Broken Wagon Bison Farm and Taltree Arboretum Railway Garden.

In addition, the guide lists places to enjoy fishing, kayaking and birding. The guide also has listings for museums, golfing, art galleries and antique shopping. It’s even got sections devoted to summer farmer’s markets, fall drives and winter recreation.

The guide’s hotel listings and restaurant listings feature new places that people might not know have opened.

This year’s guide features articles about sweet treats, craft breweries and wineries, unique shopping, attractions for kids, birding hotspots, and bed and breakfast establishments.

Weimer hopes area residents will use the guide to explore Porter County or to find great things to do with friends and family members from out of town. While the guide is a useful resource to local residents, it is designed to encourage potential visitors to choose Porter County as a destination and then extend their stays by letting them know all there is to do in our communities.

The 68-page guide’s cover features a large aerial photo of the Indiana Dunes State Park pavilion shot by Air One Aerial Photography in Valparaiso, as well as smaller photos of local dining and shopping.

Weimer encourages people to call the Visitor Center at 219-926-2255 if they have any questions or if they would like to request a guide. People can also view, download or request the guide electronically here.

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Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore names superintendent

  • Posted on Monday, February 10th, 2014
  • by Administrator in
  • News
The Century of Progress Homes are part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE – Paul Labovitz, currently superintendent at Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (NRRA) in St. Paul, Minn., has been selected as the new Superintendent at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, headquartered in Porter, Ind.

He succeeds Costa Dillon, who retired from the National Park Service (NPS) in August 2013, and he begins this new assignment on May 18, 2014. In announcing Labovitz’s selection, NPS Midwest Regional Director Michael T. Reynolds said, “Paul is a communicator and a collaborator with strong skills in consensus building. His impressive leadership of large, dispersed, multifaceted organizations and his extensive partnership experience will allow him to craft a compelling new vision for the park. Paul’s proven abilities in nontraditional, urban parks will prove invaluable in working to bring the park and the NPS to diverse communities, cities, the state, and to the Chicago area in Illinois.”

“I’m anxious to get started at Indiana Dunes,” Labovitz said of this new opportunity. “Building on over a century of conservation work along Indiana’s Lake Michigan coast and helping set the course for the next century is very exciting. The opportunity to connect with the many great projects in this part of the Midwest is very appealing. Imagine the physical and programmatic links with the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Area and Indiana Dunes. Playing a role in the establishment and development of the proposed Pullman National Historic Site helps the NPS become a more engaged partner in the terrific work going on in this region.”

Labovitz began his NPS career in what is now the Northeast Regional Office in Philadelphia, Penn., in 1988. Labovitz accepted his first superintendent position and relocated to the Mississippi NRRA in early 2007.

Born in Camden, N.J. and raised in Philadelphia, Labovitz graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Forest Service, and received his Masters of Business Administration in 1987 from Frostburg State University in western Maryland. Married to Sue Bicknell, a Watchung, N.J., native, they are parents of three grown children.

Paul Labovitz was named the new superintendent of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Paul Labovitz was named the new superintendent of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Authorized in 1966, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore encompasses over 15,000 acres of dunes, beaches, bogs, marshes, swamps, prairie remnants, and historic sites along the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Natural features include Mt. Baldy, the park’s premiere sand dune rising 126 feet above Lake Michigan. Historic sites include the 1922 Bailey Homestead the Chellberg Farm, a 1900-era family farm. The Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education and the Indiana Dunes Environmental Learning Center provide day-use and residential programs.

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Photograph Copyright: Craig Berg