Thursday, June 6, 2019

Living in our Newest National Park


Gary’s Miller Spotlight volunteers couldn’t be happier about the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore becoming the USA’s newest National Park

(Rep Visclosky addresses community members at the park's designation.)

Over the years the good folks at NPs have been some of our best community partners and have actively helped us implement our 2025 community vision.
(NPS, VOCART, Northern Lights Eco Adventures, Causes for Change and Miller Spotlight at an adaptive paddle.)

Our 2025 Vision:
Miller is a beautiful, high density, universally designed neighborhood in Gary, Indiana, known as an active arts community and a destination for beach and waterfront recreation. Miller provides quality education and programs for its youth and a variety of activities for residents of all ages. Inviting gateways and transit options make Miller accessible to visitors from throughout the region, and Miller’s inclusive community design make it easy for residents and visitors alike to enjoy the area’s activities and natural environment. A vibrant downtown supports a strong business community and provides quality employment opportunities. Resident leadership and initiative create a thriving, safe, and inclusive neighborhood with government, philanthropic, and business support enriching those initiatives. The Miller neighborhood is a vibrant and functional community to live, work, and play in.

(Brainstorming session in 2015 at Marquette Park UMC)

This vision was created during Gary’s Miller Spotlight Collective Impact Plan process. It was the culmination of a year of relationship-building and planning efforts that happened between 2014-2015. We were part of the pilot year of the Legacy Foundation’s Neighborhood Spotlight program. You can download and read the plan in full here. 
(Monthly meeting of the Access Miller Action Group in 2019 at Anna's Kombucha Cafe.)

This plan is not final; it has continued to evolve with the emerging priorities and needs of our community as new opportunities have been identified and past concerns are resolved. As a community, Miller seeks to participate in the revitalization efforts occurring within Gary via a place-based collective impact process.

(Rep Visclosky discussing transportation equity with Jessica Renslow, Zully Alvarado and Jennie Rudderham at a Take Bike the Streets Event.)

Seven action groups were formed based on themes identified in the vision: 

  • Area Context 
  • Education, Youth and Child Programming
  • Environment and Ecotourism
  • Jobs and the Economy
  • Property and Blight
  • Safety and Code Enforcement
  • Transportation and Infrastructure 
(Northern Lights camper paddling and NPS escorting folks at one of our adaptive paddles.)

We cannot wait to continue to help NPS steward our environment, while also helping our city infuse its economy by this new boon. 


(Zully Alvarado and Jessica Renslow at the Bike Walk Summit in Indianapolis and the Douglas Center's Sign.)

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