Maybe you know a little about the National Parks systems in the U.S. and Canada, but how well do you know the parks in the Great Lakes region in particular? How many are there? What’s the difference between a National Preserve and a National Park? Brush up on some Great Lakes-specific National Parks knowledge in time for the next pub trivia night, and if you find your appetite for parks whet, watch Great Lakes Now’s segment on the Indiana Dunes National Park.
Think you know all of your national parks? Take our quiz about all sites in the U.S. and Canada.
The Newest National Park
Seg. 3 from Pipelines, Plastics and Parks | SHORES OF LAKE MICHIGAN, INDIANA
As the Indiana Dunes area transitions from National Lakeshore to National Park, more visitors are enjoying its beaches and trails. Environmental threats may be increasing too.
To the staff — those khaki-clad park rangers in the iconic Smokey-the-Bear-type hats — the change didn’t mean much. Renaming the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to National Park did not mean more funding, administrative changes nor greater environmental protections.
But then the people came.
“We didn’t really realize how important it was going to be to the public, the higher profile, the number of people who are coming here,” says Bruce Rowe, park public information officer. “Literally the day that the change happened we started getting emails and phone calls from all over the country.”
Increased visitors could mean increased environmental threats, for example when people veer from the prescribed trails and trample grasses holding the sands in place. But park staff say they are working to minimize the threats from people — along with other potential dangers to the park’s ecosystem like invasive species of plants, industrial pollutants and increased lake levels.
The Great Lakes National Park Service sites have been seeing increased tourism.
Think you know your national parks? Take our quiz about sites in the U.S. and Canada.
What do you know about Great Lakes parks and other national sites? Take our quiz about the region’s parks.