PCC Founded 1958 * APRIL 2019 *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 April 20, 2019


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 & Charlotte Read candhread@comcast.net, 847-302-8069


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


4/4 Family Nature Night

6-7:30p Flint Lake Elementary School


4/6 Thirst for Clean Water program

8:15am-1:30pm Valparaiso University


4/9 Family Nature Night

6-7:30p Northview Elementary School


4/18 Family Nature Night

6-7:30p Liberty School


4/20 April PCC Monthly Meeting

1-3p Thomas Library 2nd floor meeting room


4/27 Earth Day Celebration

10-3p Valparaiso University Rec Center


5/2 Family Nature Night

6-8p Discovery Charter School


5/11 May PCC Monthly Meeting *note change from 3rd Sat.

1-3p Thomas Library 2nd floor meeting room


5/18 Build Birdhouses at Bird Festival with Trackers 4-H Club

9a-4p Dunes St. Pk. Nature Center


6/8 June PCC Monthly Meeting *note change from 3rd Sat.

1-3p Thomas Library 2nd floor meeting room


6/15 Gnomes Day Out

4-7p Frame Family Conservation Area


6/22 Naturepalooza

10-3p Rogers Lakewood Park Big Wheel Pav


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

we need volunteers!

Family Nature Night volunteers can welcome guests, answer questions about PCC, help with a hands-on nature booth, or run the archery area. Guaranteed that you'll enjoy the wonder on kids' faces all night. See the above "important dates" section of this newsletter to see where you can help out with FNNs this spring.

Please consider joining us in the fun. RSVP to Annette Hansen at 219-241-7431 text or call or email at executivedirectoriwlapcc@gmail.com :)

Spring Family Nature Night Program +

Elementary Schools continue to contact us to bring a Family Nature Night to their location. This educational program reaches 2K folks annually, it is very successful. Bonnie and Susan Swarner started the program for PCC 7+ years ago and it's been growing each year since. Thank you to Susan Swarner for all her time planning with the schools to get the stage set for all our Family Nature Night events. Thank you also to the tireless effort of all our volunteers. We couldn't do it without her! And we can't do it without volunteers like YOU! Please consider joining us for the fun coming up. Our next events are;

FLINT LAKE on THURSDAY April 4 event runs 6-7:30

NORTHVIEW on TUESDAY April 9 event runs 6-7:30

LIBERTY on THURSDAY April 18 event runs 6-7:30

(Save the Date) DISCOVERY on THURSDAY May 2 event runs 6-8

and...April 27, 10-3p the NEW Earth Day location at VU Rec Center

PCC will be joining the effort to keep Earth Day celebration alive in Porter County while our Expo gets a facelift. Please join PCC volunteers at a hands-on station that will entertain and teach families about appreciating and protecting nature.

VOLUNTEER TO HELP US AT EARTH DAY! RSVP to Hansen 219-241-7431 or executivedirectoriwlapcc@gmail.com

Earth Day event on Facebook -- Click here:



<iframe src="https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?src=88rqgkn7mjugini1qc9bkgbngo%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America/Chicago" style="border: 0" width="800" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>

Locals Join General Assembly in Recognizing the Indiana Dunes National Park

Dozens of Duneland residents and friends of the Indiana Dunes traveled to Indianapolis March 12 th to be part of the Indiana General Assembly recognition of the reclassification of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to Indiana’s first National Park.

Local Izaak Walton League members Herb Read and Jim Sweeney witnessed the passing of

resolutions in both the Indiana House of Representatives and the Indiana Senate commemorating the new classification announced in February. Representatives Lisa Beck and Senator Karen Tallian were joined by the entire northwest Indiana delegations in sponsoring the Resolutions and spoke to the myriad of benefits both Dunes parks bring to the region.

Lifelong dunes advocate Herb Read was the celebrity of the hour. He was inundated with

congratulations, handshakes, and hugs and enjoyed every minute of it. “I really enjoyed the

event. It was great to see the standing ovation by the House Members,” he said, “That was a little different than when we were here in 1962.” Dozens of the visitors from the north took selfies and group photos to save the experience in their memories and for their friends and families back home. The khaki-clad National Park employees were joined by other National Park partners, local planners, tourism, business leaders and other fans of the Dunes.

Paul Labovitz and Herb Read
Paul Labovitz and Herb Read

Bats at Frame

Chesterton, Indiana — The Porter County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America recently installed specially designed roosting structures on a local conservation property (PCC's Frame Family Little Calumet Conservation Area) to help several species of endangered bats. They were assisted by the Kankakee Valley Rural Electric Membership Cooperative, (KV REMC) an electric utility cooperative serving over 18,500 member-consumers in Starke, LaPorte, Porter, Lake, St. Joseph, Pulaski and Marshall Counties. Project Chairman Don Frame supervised and helped build the structures with an artificial material called BrandenBark. He said “BrandenBark was developed specifically by biologists to imitate defoliating bark on dead trees that some species of bats like to hide under for roosting or for raising their young.” Frame called Amanda Steeb of KVREMC to ask for their help with the project and they agreed. “Our cooperative is committed to helping the community and the environment,” she said. “With our access to poles and equipment, it was a great way for us to contribute to this project.” Developed by Copperhead Environmental Consulting in Kentucky, BrandenBark is a polyurethane plastic molded to imitate the bark of trees. It is typically mounted on utility poles or standing dead trees in areas where bats are found, usually by streams or wetlands. Bats that have been known to use BrandenBark include the Indiana Bat, the Northern Long-eared Bat, and the Little Brown Bat, all of which are found in our area.

Many populations of bats have been severely impacted by “white nose syndrome,” a fungal disease that affects hibernating bats. It has killed millions of bats across North America and the Chapter hopes to help these species rebound in northwest Indiana. The project was funded by the chapter, the KV REMC, Discovery Trackers 4-H Club and by a grant from the Indiana Division of the Izaak Walton League Endowment. The US Geological Survey and Purdue University Northwest have been part of the research and design of the project. “We are really excited about this project,” said Chapter president Gary Brown, “if it works here we hope to put more of the same structures up all over northwest Indiana. Bats are fascinating animals and they need our help.”


A Thirst for Clean Water

Protecting Our Bodies and Bodies of Water through Knowledge and Engagement

April 6, 2019

8:15 AM - 1:30 PM

Valparaiso University

Valparaiso, IN


Faculty from Valparaiso University have joined forces with Indiana/Chicagoland environmentally minded organizations and people to discuss topics around the theme of Water Pollution. The event will be highlighted by a presentation by Virginia Tech Professor Marc Edwards, who investigated the science that uncovered the Washington D.C. Lead Crisis and the Flint, Michigan Water Disaster. Informative discussions on laws protecting drinking water, current science challenges and how we move forward tackling these problems will supplement Professor Edward’s keynote presentation, “Water Infrastructure Inequality in America: Truth and Consequences.”

The day of water discussions is free and open to the public! Reserve a seat!

Big picture

kilmer property update

Hello Neighbors and Friends of the Environment,

Just a note to keep us all in touch.

  • Spectacle neighbors Jo Ann and Rhonda noticed workers surveying the Kilmer property and Spectacle Drive this week.
  • As the weather has gotten warmer, folks have noticed that many trees on the property have been numbered. This inventory was done in December after the City of Valpo Annexation vote.
  • The offer to purchase the Kilmer property by the Porter County Parks Foundation expires on May 31, 2019. They have not officially rejected it in writing. However, they have verbally (by email) rejected it.

We should keep aware of the Porter County Plan Commission meetings. Next meeting is scheduled for April 24 (Fourth Wednesday) 5:30 p.m., Porter County Administration Center, Room 205, 155 Indiana Ave., Valparaiso. Please mark your calendars and plan to be there. I will let you know if we are on the agenda as soon as I receive the agenda.

You can sign up to receive automated notice of meetings and agendas here: http://www.porterco.org/list.aspx

“The Plan Commission holds public hearings relating to petitions for rezonings, subdivision plats, development plans, and amendments to local zoning ordinances. As defined by law, in matters of rezoning and amendment petitions, the Plan Commission acts in an advisory capacity by making a recommendation and forwarding the petition to the County Board of Commissioners for final action, as the legislative body of the county. In matters regarding subdivision plat approval, their action is final, and is not forwarded to the county commissioners.”

Keep in mind our three main issues:

  • Safety of Spectacle Drive
  • Flooding and property damage
  • Environmental destruction of the lakes

Happy spring! APB

Andrea Proulx Buinicki, CFRE

President, Giving Focus

PO Box 1894

Valparaiso, IN 46384-1894

(C) 219-252-6223