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Ikes in Action: Milestone Honored in U.S. House of Representatives

Outdoor America 2018 Issue 4
IDNL Superintendent Paul Labovitz and PCC pres Gary Brown

Indiana >> The Porter County Chapter celebrated its 60th birthday this fall with a gathering of chapter members and friends at the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.

U.S. Congressman Pete Visclosky, who is a chapter member, presented the chapter with a copy of a speech he read on the House floor recognizing the chapter’s contributions to conservation and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. “This chapter helped create that park,” Rep. Visclosky said. “It is one of the greatest assets we have in northwest Indiana.” The speech was printed in the Congressional Record.

of Indiana
in the House of Representatives Friday, October 26, 2018

Mr. Speaker, it is with great respect that I take the time to recognize the Izaak Walton League-Porter County Chapter (IWL-PCC) as the organization celebrates its 60th anniversary. In honor of this special occasion, the IWL-PCC will host a celebratory reception at the Portage Lakefront Park and Riverwalk on October 28, 2018. The IWL-PCC is a not-for-profit organization located in Chesterton, Indiana, and serves as one of Northwest Indiana’s greatest assets. The organization holds steadfast to its mission to conserve, maintain, protect, and restore the soil, forest, water, and other natural resources of the United States and other lands. These efforts have successfully led to the promotion and expansion of opportunities for education of the public on these resources and their enjoyment and wholesome utilization.

Organized by my good friends Herb and Charlotte Read in 1958, the IWL-PCC was established to help create the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which has grown  into an incredible national treasure consisting of 15,000 acres. Tom Dustin of the Fort Wayne Chapter and the late Joe Penfold, former Izaak Walton League of America Conservation Director, also played critical roles in the development and early success of the Porter County Chapter.

One of the Chapter’s most important projects is its Family Nature Nights program where local schools are introduced to conservation and responsible outdoor recreation. Among their many contributions and achievements, the Porter County Chapter is responsible for the acquiring of several properties for conservation and preservation, including the Frame Little Calumet Conservation Area, the Carol Cook Wetland Overlook, and the Massauga Creek Unit of the Little Calumet Conservation Area. Additionally, the organization’s partnership with the Save the Dunes Council, as well as the state and national offices of the Izaak Walton League, have played an instrumental role in the commendable success of the IWL-PCC.

As a member of the Chapter for over a decade, it gives me great pleasure to mention some of the inspiring leaders of the organization who have worked tirelessly to advocate for the conservation of natural resources. They include President Gary Brown, Vice President Jim Sweeney, Secretary Susan Swarner, Treasurer Liz McCloskey, Board members Don Frame and Bill Iltzche, and Executive Director Annette Hansen. I am also grateful for outstanding members such as Walt Breitinger, Bonnie Swarner, the late Terry McCloskey, and the gracious volunteers of the IWL-PCC.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that you and my other distinguished colleagues join me in honoring and congratulating the Izaak Walton League-Porter County Chapter on its 60th anniversary. For the past 60 years, the Chapter’s leadership, office holders, and volunteers have enhanced Northwest Indiana for generations to come.

Image: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Superintendent Paul Labovitz, who also spoke at the event, and chapter president Gary Brown.