Indiana Dunes become Indiana's first national park

 Photo from Indiana Dunes National Park Service / Twitter
Photo from Indiana Dunes National Park Service / Twitter (WNDU)
Published: Feb. 15, 2019 at 3:54 PM EST
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U.S. congressional representatives from Indiana have announced the first national park in Indiana.

What was once known as Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore will now be known as Indiana Dunes National Park, the 61st national park in the U.S. and the first in the Hoosier State.

U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind.; Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, R-2nd District; and Congressman Pete Visclosky, D-1st District, announced the designation Friday.

“This designation certifies what we Hoosiers have known all along – Indiana Dunes is not just a state treasure but a national treasure as well. I commend Rep. Visclosky for his perseverance on this important Hoosier priority. Without his tireless advocacy, this goal would not have been accomplished. I look forward to visiting Indiana's first national park very soon,” Young said.

The announcement was cemented when the Fiscal Year 2019 Omnibus Appropriations legislation was signed into law.

“I’m thrilled that the Indiana Dunes will be our state’s first national park," Walorski said. "The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has long been a treasured place for Hoosiers to relax, explore and enjoy all that nature has to offer, as well as a strong driver of our local economy. The Indiana Dunes National Park will draw even more visitors from across the country, strengthening Indiana’s economy and boosting the outdoor recreation industry that is so vital to our region.”