8:00 am08:00

Whole Foods 5% Give Back Day

  • Whole Foods

Support hands-on learning and environmental stewardship programs in your community when you shop at Whole Foods in Schererville on Tuesday, August 9th. For one day only, Whole Foods will donate 5% of total net sales to Dunes Learning Center.  You can help raise funds to provide a deserving student with an unforgettable learning experience in nature by buying the things you need—but only on August 9th.

To make it even easier for you to shop, we’ve arranged for an after-work Whole Foods shuttle! Our bus will depart Dunes Learning Center's parking lot at 5:30 p.m. Conserve resources by ride-sharing to Schererville. Space is limited, sign up today >

7:30 pm19:30

Northwest Indiana Symphony in the Park

  • Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore West Beach

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Parks and the 50th anniversary of the national lakeshore with a free concert by the Northwest Indiana Symphony at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s West Beach.

10:00 am10:00

Next Indiana Campfires: Dunes Succession Trail Hike

  • Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore West Beach

Indiana’s literature and landscapes have inspired generations of Hoosiers—part of the Next Indiana Campfires series, connecting nature, literature and Indiana’s Bicentennial. Join Indiana Humanities and Dunes Learning Center as we explore the Dunes’ unique ecology and learn about the generations of writers, including Edwin Way Teale and Carl Sandburg, inspired by their beauty. Part of the Next Indiana Campfires series, you'll enjoy a 90-minute walk along the Dunes Succession Trail, followed by a meal and campfire at the Dunes Learning Center. Humanities scholar and facilitator Micah Towery, Goshen College will lead the discussion. Learn more >

6:00 pm18:00

Walk Through Time: A Dunes Affair

  • Sand Creek Country Club

Join us for a gala celebration of inspiration and inclusion, culminating in the presentation of the 2016 Green Apple award to educator and autism advocate, Tracy Chandler. Live music by the Corey Dennison Band, an extended cocktail hour, "Walk Through Time" themed hors d’oeuvre, and a silent auction offering one-of-a-kind experiences will make this a night to remember. Event proceeds support environmental literacy and keep unforgettable field-based learning experiences affordable and accessible for thousands of children. Don't miss this opportunity to look back and help build for the future as we celebrate 100,000 students inspired by hands-on learning in the dunes! Get your tickets >

Our Green Apple Award Presenter
Karin Willison is a writer, blogger, and advocate currently living in the Midwest... when she's not traveling, that is! She works as an editor for the popular website, helping people with disabilities and their families share their stories. As part of her work there, she was asked to cover the Canoemobile’s recent visit to Hobart, Indiana and help paddle a 24’ canoe. In addition to her work at The Mighty, Karin has a blog at, where she chronicles her experiences living and traveling with a disability. Karin also enjoys attending theater and live music events, helping musicians with publicity and marketing, and spending time with her three dogs.

Our Green Apple Award Honoree
Tracy Chandler teaches students with autism spectrum disorders through the Structured Learning Program at Clark Middle School. For the past several years, she has partnered with Dunes Learning Center "Dunes To You" educators to inspire her students through environmental education activities. A special education teacher for 30 years, Tracy works with leaders statewide to support educational programs for students on the autism spectrum. She resides in Lakes of the Four Seasons and enjoys gardening, water sports, running and spending time with her 3 sons and 2 granddaughters. 

Thank you to event sponsors: 1st Source Bank, ArcelorMittal, BP, Canalia and Clark, Duneland Chamber of Commerce, Enbridge, Lakeshore Public Media, NIPSCO, Republic Services and Teresa Massa, Attorney

Enjoy music by the Corey Dennison Blues Band at our annual fundraising event!

Enjoy music by the Corey Dennison Blues Band at our annual fundraising event!

10:00 am10:00

Next Indiana Campfires: Cowles Bog Trail Hike

  • Dunes Learning Center

Indiana’s literature and landscapes have inspired generations of Hoosiers. Join Indiana Humanities and Dunes Learning Center for an epic hike across Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s 4.6 mile Cowles Bog Trail—part of the Next Indiana Campfires series, connecting nature, literature and Indiana’s Bicentennial. Humanities scholar and facilitator Krista Bailey, IU South Bend will lead attendees on the route, stopping periodically to read aloud the words of important Hoosier authors. You’ll be joined by a naturalist who will point out interesting features along the trail. Participants will then gather around a campfire to discuss connections between nature, literature and place. Trail lunch included. Beer available to those 21 and up. Learn more >

11:00 am11:00

Get Outdoors Day Open House

  • Dunes Learning Center

Get Outdoors and explore your national lakeshore at our 5th annual Get Outdoors Day celebration. Participate in Hoosier Riverwatch activities on the banks of the Little Calumet River, learn to kayak safely with the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association, get ready for butterfly visitors with The Nature Conservancy, or have a live animal encounter thanks to the Moraine Ridge Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. PLUS representatives from the Porter County Museum will be on hand to collect stories from former Good Fellow campers and counselors for their upcoming exhibit. Guided hikes, science games, music, art and a picnic lunch under the trees—it’s all free with your pre-registration! Download an event program or Sign up >

Join our backpack drive! Help provide our students with the tools they need to learn and explore. Bring your gently used backpacks to Get Outdoors Day to donate!

Thanks to event partners and sponsors: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, 4Imprint, ArcelorMittal, BP, Culligan of Valparaiso, Enbridge, Friends of Indiana Dunes, Lakeshore Public Media, Lamar Advertising Company, Moraine Ridge Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, NIPSCO, Northwest Indiana Paddling Association, Prism Science & Technology, The Nature Conservancy and Teresa Massa, Attorney.

Funding for this program was provided in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Lake Michigan Coastal Program. Arts activities made possible, in part, with support from the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.