PCC Founded 1958 * JANUARY 2020 *60 years of conservation

“From the Dunes in the north, to the Kankakee River in the south”

Izaak Walton League of America - Porter County Chapter

Meetings held every 3rd Saturday, 1-3pm in the

Thomas Library in 2nd floor meeting room


200 W. Indiana Avenue, Chesterton, IN 46304

(219) 926-7696

Next meeting January 18, 2020 from 1-3pm


President - Gary Brown grbrown57@hotmail.com, 219-464-8882

Vice President - Jim Sweeney jp55biod@att.net, 219-322- 7239

Treasurer/Membership - Liz McCloskey tmconservation@csinet.net, 219-326-0700

Secretary - Susan Swarner susan.swarner@gmail.com, 219-201-5498

Chapter Directors: Don Frame df.nature@outlook.com, 219-331-6136,
Bill Iltzsche biltzsche@hotmail.com 219-464-9850 and Herb Read 847-302-8069

Longtime dunes environmentalist Herb Read dead at 93


Herb and Charlotte Read in 2015 photo. (Post-Tribune file 2015)

Herb Read, who with his late wife, Charlotte, fought tirelessly and passionately for the dunes, died Sunday. Herb Read was 93. Charlotte died May 2 at the age of 90.

An architect by trade and a U.S. Navy veteran who grew up in Chicago, Herb Read’s love of the dunes started at an early age, thanks to trips there on the South Shore train with his parents, Philo and Irene, said his sons, David and John.

Herb Read’s parents were active in the Prairie Club, the precursor to today’s Save the Dunes group, and through them, he met luminaries including poet Carl Sandburg and artist Frank Dudley.

Herb Read’s parents, said David, were instrumental in getting Indiana Dunes State park established in 1916.

Remainder of the story CLICK HERE.
Arrangements are pending at White-Love Funeral Home in Chesterton.
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Porter County Chapter wishes you all things merry and bright

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PayPal takes a percentage on your donation. You may also feel free to mail your donation through our Treasurer: c/o PCC Treasurer Liz McCloskey, 1602 Michigan Ave, La Porte, IN 46350

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1/18/20 January PCC Monthly Meeting

1-3p Thomas Library 2nd floor meeting room


1/25 PoCo Master Gardener's Garden Show (WAIT-LISTED)

8-4p Expo Center ("bat adoption & yard benefit" table)


2/15 February PCC Monthly Meeting

1-3p Thomas Library 2nd floor meeting room


3/10 Family Nature Night

6-7:30p Brummitt School


3/21 March PCC Monthly Meeting

1-3p Thomas Library 2nd floor meeting room


4/11 April PCC Monthly Meeting*

1-3p Thomas Library 2nd floor meeting room


4/15 Family Nature Night

6-7:30p Liberty Elementary School


4/18 Earth Day Celebration

Valpo Expo Center


5/12 Family Nature NIght

6-7:30p Discovery Charter School


To volunteer to help with anything that suits you; contact Annette Hansen executivedirectoriwlapcc@gmail.com 219-241-7431

*NOTE change from usual 3rd Saturday due to our involvement with Earth Day on 4/18.

bats in your stocking

The Adoption program is available online now too! Let your family and friends know about it, the program makes a great holiday gift. Recipients receive a plush bat with adoption paper, tips for supporting bats in their own yards and a monthly newsletter The Chiroptera Monthly about bats in NWI, PCC's work with them and bats around the world. Subscribers will also be invited to an exclusive Bat Night Hike with PCC in Summer 2020. Online subscribers add $4.00 to their $10 donation to cover processing and shipping costs. http://nwiconservation.org/donate/

Endangered Bats Discovered Near Spectacle Lake

As part of citizen science bat conservation partnership between the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes Watershed Group and Izaak Walton League’s Porter County Chapter, two local groups organized monitoring surveys on conservation properties, public lands, and some private properties looking for evidence of bats in the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes Watershed. They hit the jackpot just south of Spectacle/Loomis Lakes near a proposed subdivision.

Recordings made with a state-of-the art high frequency acoustic monitor manufactured by Wildlife Acoustics, from a property adjacent to a large area of mature forest near the south shore of Loomis Lake during August and September of this year, detected hundreds of calls of the local bats including some federally endangered and state threatened species. The recordings, conducted by conservation ecologist, Tamatha Paterson, are now in the process of being analyzed by professionals at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and findings are preliminary.

The conservation groups are alarmed at the prospect of losing any natural bat habitat at properties adjacent to the monitoring site which these bats are likely using for summer habitat. One such mature wooded parcel is being considered for the housing development, however, where mature forest likely provides a summer home to the federally endangered Indiana Bat among others. Bats use the hallow cavities and loose bark of mature trees for roosting and rearing their pups.

The lakes support a diversity of insects that the bats feed on and help maintain a balanced, healthy environment. Any change in habitat or drainage to the lakes could cause negative consequences for this foodchain and be harmful for the bats. Gary Brown, President of the IWLA-PCC said, “This is a significant find with major potential.” He notes, “Six bats are currently on the state endangered list--Grey, Little Brown, Northern Long-eared, Indiana, Tri-colored and Evening bats. All but the Northern Long-eared and Grey were recorded at the Valpo Chain of Lakes Group monitoring site. Our groups feel that the area surrounding the lakes should be guarded for those creatures as well.”

The Valparaiso Chain of Lakes Watershed Group and Porter County Izaak Walton League have been working with the Neighbors of Spectacle Lake in hopes of saving the nearby property as a low-impact recreational park. Funds would have to be donated and many logistics negotiated before the property could, ultimately, be conveyed to the Porter County Parks or a land conservancy.

For further information, call or text Walt Breitinger at 219-477-7526 or Annette Hansen at 219-241-7431

Kilmer Acres Update from Andrea

Hello, Neighbors and Friends of the Environment,

The Porter County Parks Foundation has been in conversation with the Kilmers, and the Foundation will be making an offer to purchase 10 acres (marked off in red on map) of their property next week. This is what I know has been agreed upon:

  • The Parks Foundation/Parks Department will NOT be responsible for a road.
  • Access to the property will be granted with an easement along the western end of the property.
  • Acquisition Phase 1:
    • Purchase price: $240,000 ($24,000/acre—appraised at residential value because we are saving the land from residential development)
    • Survey Cost: approximately $2,000
    • There may be additional title insurance costs and misc. other things that come up in their negotiations of a contract next week.
    • We will have six months to raise the funds.
  • Development Phase 2 (sometime in the future): The Parks Foundation, the neighbors, and the Kilmers intend for the park to be a nature preserve/conservancy (there are technical aspects to these terms that I do not understand, so I’m using them loosely here). The County Parks does not anticipate an increased budget any time soon, so there won’t be any trails or parking added in the foreseeable future. The only work that may need to occur is removal of dead/infected Ash trees so that the existing trails on the property can be safe. During the spring 2019, the Parks Foundation indicated that they would involve the neighborhood in any discussions of enhancements.

Regarding the remaining property owned by the Kilmers. I do not know much.

  • They had indicated verbally in the November meeting that I attended that there would be about 12 houses.
  • They have shared with the Parks Foundation that they are planning two private driveways off of Spectacle Dr. that will NOT go all the way to the park land.
  • They indicated that they plan to have a preliminary meeting with the county, their engineer, and their attorney to discuss the concept that they have in mind. Then they will begin engineering plans.
  • There will be public meetings about all of those plans.

So, we are moving forward in a positive direction! I will let you know any updates next week.

Andrea Proulx Buinicki, CFRE, President, Giving Focus

PO Box 1894, Valparaiso, IN 46384-1894, (C) 219-252-6223

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