Saturday (8-17-11) was a great day to be outside in NWI!  I was able to check out some places I hadn’t been before, or for awhile:

Saw the greatest looking planted basil pots for $4 at Riverside Market  in Michigan City,  nice mix of old and new things for sale, along with rustic bread, mums and autumn produce.  Stopped in at  Save the Dunes Gift Shop, ( 92 W US Hwy 12) great selection of dunes posters, dunes artwork, art supplies –  while I picked up some info on the Save the Dunes Conservation Fund, a couple were in buying tickets for the Jammin’ for the Dunes  event.  Would like to hear from you that attended!  Loved  the Crinoid Fossil Jewelry at the School House Shop  Art Fair, in Furnessville.  Last year, it inspired me to go to Kemil Beach and where I found a crinoid column and aqua beach glass on my first try!  (Close by are the newly opened Brinka-Cross Gardens). Next, I enjoyed seeing the cacti, butterflies and view at the Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk.  Then onto Long Lake (see pix) at West Beach to see where my Swedish ancestors came, as they lived  nearby on Stagecoach Road.  And last, the most western National Park in NWI, the Paul H Douglas Center, in Miller,  featuring the oak savannas. I found this purple flower there.(pix)  I got to take a short hike, see their classrooms, and an enjoyable short film with helicopter shots of the Dunes National Lakeshore.  The film again reminded me of our great treasure here, and  how I could get involved, and where I would like to go next.

On Sunday, I attended the Women’s Expo in Valpo and met:  Michele Irzk  of Shaklee, showing  chlorine/phosphate free biodegradable corn/coconut concentrated cleaners; also I met the gals from  Tudor Carpet who have recycled carpet, along with a  selection of cork and bamboo flooring; and I got to see some of  The Welcome Mat’s  fabulous Fair Trade products and taste DivineChocolate from Africa, yum.   Later, I read in the Times, that a group from Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Hessville, was part of an Adopt-a-Beach clean-up effort on Saturday.  Kudos to this Green Team,  and all the folks on their environmental efforts!

So what did you do/discover? Where do you want to explore?  Is there a project you need help with? Please post it on 219greenconnect, or Join the discussion! or check the Event Calendar.  Also, for volunteer opportunities:  Lynda Lancaster the Volunteers-In-Park Program Manger, with the Indiana Dunes Nat Lakeshore,  currently needs help with removing invasive sunflowers, and also doing plantings in Cowles Bog; and volunteer workdays are listed by towns at Shirley Heinze Land Trust,– good ways to explore the weekend!

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