Indiana Dunes National Park offers entrance fee, asks audience for comment – NBC Chicago

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Indiana Dunes National Park could start charging entrance fees by March 31, 2022, after being free for more than 50 years, the park said.

If the proposal is approved, the fee would include a $ 15 fee per person, whether on foot, bicycle or boat, a $ 20 motorcycle pass, a $ 25 vehicle pass for seven days, a $ 45 annual pass to Indiana Dunes National Park and a $ 100 trade fee for a coach.

The National Park Service established an entrance fee structure in 2006 to standardize them in parks of similar types.

As it stands, the 15,000-acre park falls under a Group 2 categorization, meaning it has a lower entry price. National parks that fall into this group are either national shores, national recreation areas, national monuments, shores of national lakes, and national historic parks.

As a national park, the dunes in Indiana would generally belong to Group 3 or 4; but due to its location near a large urban population, it was placed in Group 2, which has a lower entry fee, the park spokesperson said in a statement.

Dune Park needs new revenue due to overdue maintenance issues, Supt. Paul Labovitz in a press release

According to Labovitz, the park has a backlog of more than $ 40 million in maintenance issues.

“The value of open public spaces has been highlighted during the COVID pandemic,” Labovitz said. “Here at Indiana Dunes National Park, we anticipate what our park needs to develop existing facilities and envision future upgrades and new equipment to better serve our visitors. Our attendance has increased considerably over the past two years. Horizon-specific changes include intelligent transportation technology to provide visitors with trip planning tools, including real-time parking availability at many or all National Park Service parking lots. We would also like to be a partner to complete the missing segments of the Marquette Greenway which will connect Michigan and Illinois via a multi-use trail. The new fee program will provide additional and necessary financial resources to meet our maintenance, public safety and programming needs. We appreciate your comments on our proposal.

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the region, the park will be holding a public meeting online through Zoom instead of meeting in person.

The meeting will take place on August 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The meeting is accessible here. To enter the meeting, the password will be: 074744.

Comments will also be accepted online at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/ or by email.

For more information visit https://www.nps.gov/indu/index.htm

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