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The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is turning 50 years old in 2016 while the National Park Service is turning 100! Few, if any, of the 409 National Parks has had such a tumultuous road to becoming a park. It took over 60 years of continuous effort by concerned citizens before the park was created in 1966. The National Lakeshore is just an hour east of Chicago on Lake Michigan and is in the top 50 of all parks by yearly visitors. The lakeshore is also in the top 10 of all parks by biologically diversity! Henry Cowles established the field of Ecology in the dunes in the early 1900s.
My four sons are Lego fanatics and were recently looking through Lego Ideas submissions. They came across several other members creating National Park Service Vignettes and decided they wanted to make a vignette for our local park. They immediately dumped out our huge bins of Legos and started creating. I am proud to say that this is their design. They know and understand the significance of National Parks. They know what makes the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore so special.
- Beaches. The national lakeshore has 15 miles of freshwater beaches enjoyed by millions of visitors a year. The vignette shows two swimmers enjoying the water.
- Sand Dunes. The prevailing winds and currents bring sand from all over Lake Michigan to the Indiana Dunes. Kids love playing on the dunes and the views from the top are incredible. The vignette shows the undulating dunes coming down the water’s edge. A ranger is guiding a visitor on a dune hike.
- Plant Succession. The concept of succession in the field of Ecology was developed in the dunes. Pioneer plants such as marram grass first establish life on a sand dune, but in doing so, change the habitat so that eventually other plants such as jack pine trees can take over or succeed from the earlier plant. Eventually, a stable climax habitat such as an oak, beech or maple forest result. The vignette shows marram grass, jack pine and oak trees.
- Birding. The Lake Michigan flyway brings an incredible abundance of birds through the dunes, especially during migration periods. The vignette shows an owl up in a tree with the visitor enjoying the view of the owl through binoculars.
My sons and I ask for your support in voting for this Lego Idea in support of our National Parks.