Fund improvements to the Calumet trail to make it usable by all.
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The Calumet trail, stretches from Mineral Springs Road, in Porter, into Michigan City, along the National park, the State Park and the Dunes Park Train Station. This trail Could be a fantastic community resource for runners, cyclists, nature lovers, families, and visitors to our amazing park system.
It Could be all these things:
- It Could be a great connector from the Prairie Duneland trail to all the lakeshore amenities.
- It Could showcase the United State's newest National Park as a destination, connecting the Cowles Bog Area to the National Park Visitors center and campground.
- It Could help the local economy through the pedal power of local and visiting cyclists stopping at businesses both near the Calumet trail and the Prairie Duneland trail.
- It Could help stimulate tourism to both the National and State Parks, thereby bringing in money from outside the area, that would benefit our communities.
- It Could help the environment by allowing more people to get to the lakeshore without driving their cars.
- It Could allow people to access the Dunes Park train station via bicycle.
- It Could be an accessible way for people with disabilities to access the amazing flora and fauna along the trail.
But, currently it is mostly unusable. As it stands it is mostly large gravel, gravel that is too big for most people to ride bikes on or even run on comfortably. But in addition to the gravel, there are many spots, especially east of the train station, that are impassable due to high water. You cannot ride a bike or even walk through these areas. And don't even think of trying to push a small child in a stroller on the trail.
NIPSCO owns the property that contains the Calumet trail and the Porter County Park department is a partner in the maintenance of the trail. Both NIPSCO and the park department, as well as county officials, the National Park Service, the Indiana Regional Plan Commission, Indiana Dunes Tourism, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, The NICTD (which runs the Southshore trains), and other local community and advocacy groups have long sought funding for repairs and upgrades to this trail. Unfortunately these efforts have so far been unsuccessful.
However, there IS a proposed plan. It is an expensive one, and what is needed is local support. Letting our local elected officials know that this should be a priority is important. If we can get this project high enough on the federal grants list, we can help make this happen.
There are also millions of dollars in state grants, through the State of Indiana and the Department of Natural resources that are accepting applications this fall, for local and regional trails. The state is GIVING away money for trails..... Are we on the list?
Please let our officials know this is important to us. Here is what you can do:
- Sign this petition.
- Show up at the Porter Park Department Board Meeting which meets at 6pm, on the 1st Thursday of each month at the County Commissioners Chambers in the County Administration Building.
- Contact your local elected officials, including the Porter County Commissioners:
- North County - Jim Biggs
- Valparaiso - Jeff Good
- South County - Laura Blaney
Update: Construction will begin soon on the Singing Sands Trail. The Singing Sands trail will start at the east end of the Calumet trail and go all the way into Southwest Michigan. When this trail is complete in 2021, the regional Marquette trail will stretch from from the Southside of Chicago, through Lake, Porter, and La Porte Counties into Michigan. Making it even MORE important for Porter County to do their part in making the Calumet trail a usable trail for ALL.
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