A former brownfield site was dedicated earlier this month as the newest visitor use area within Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
The grand opening of the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk is the culmination of an innovative partnership between the city of Portage, Indiana, the Northwest Indiana Redevelopment Authority, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the former National Steel Corporation. Approximately 400 visitors joined park Superintendent Costa Dillon, Portage Mayor Olga Velasquez, and Congressman Pete Visclosky in opening the site following the completion of the $10 million construction project.
The magnificent site on the shore of Lake Michigan was once a dumping ground for acids used in steel making. Working with partners, the NPS cleaned the site and entered into a partnership with the city of Portage and the redevelopment authority to construct visitor facilities at the site. A spectacular LEED gold-certified pavilion will serve as a site for education programs for the public. A fishing pier offers opportunities for lake and stream fishing, and the riverwalk and multi-use trail connect the site to other park areas.