Project Leader: Stephanie Orlando Project Dates: August 15th - December 17th Email Address: email@example.com  Telephone Number: 208-914-0388 Address: 1100 North Mineral Springs Road Porter, IN 46304
Week 12 
This week began much the same as last week ended. The weather being cold, windy, and snowy kept us from our usual tree removal. Instead we found ourselves inside one of the NPS storage rooms cleaning seed, taking the seeds off the previously collected dried leaves and stems. The clean seeds are stored by the NPS for future restoration projects. This being the last week of our project we ended the week by doing a number of final administrative type activities such as paperwork. The team immensely enjoyed their time here. Many of the crew members are moving on to other SCA projects and future endeavors.
Week 11 
The team was very excited to finally see the end results of their largest project site, the Hotel Site. After a turn in the weather, consisting of seasonably cold temperatures and snow, the crew got to try their hands at seed cleaning. This is the process of taking seed that has been gathered and ridding it of any plant matter that is not necessary to propagation, such as stems and leaves. This gave them the opportunity to get involved with the NPS plant propagation green house project. These native plants will be used in future restoration projects throughout the park. This week ended with a great team discussion of future endeavors and a good time was had by all.
Week 10 
The week started as usual with the team continuing to work at the Hotel Site, but to keep things interesting each member took a turn felling trees one to two inches larger in diameter than they normally fell. This was done with the Project Leader, Stephanie who was able to provide tips and feedback to improve technique. Midweek the team experienced their first days of real fall weather after which they were able to break up the work day by taking a field trip to a section of a nearby park, Jasper Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, to observe a natural wonder as the sandhill cranes flew in for the night’s shelter during their southward migration. The week ended on a rather fun note as crew member Cliff conducted a volunteer work day as part of his graduation requirements for college. High school students from the near-by city of Chicago came down to the dunes for a day of removing invasive bittersweet vines from an area of the park. The team was happy to see younger people helping out as well as learning about invasive plants and the environment. Though the crew was excited for the coming Thanksgiving holiday break full of family and food, thoughts of the work to be done in the remaining weeks was still on their minds.
Week 9 
The team had an exciting start to the week doing depth gauge recording in an unexplored area of the park. This simple exercise of measuring water depth every 10 meters turned into a wet and wild adventure. To everyone’s surprise, this portion of the park has a very uneven mat, meaning one minute water was ankle deep and the next you may fall in a three foot hole. At times, the crew was wading hip deep in some fairly cold water. Despite the unfavorable conditions, the team had a great time and completed all the areas they were working in. The rest of the week consisted of tree removal at the Old Hotel site and chainsaw review where the team had the opportunity to go over some of the techniques they learned in training and fell some larger trees. Lots of progress was made this week with a variety of work from beginning to end.
Week 8 
The team started the week by measuring tree DBH (diameter at breast height) with Park Service employees. The information collected will be used in a future restoration project at the National Lakeshore. A mid-season visit from the Native Plant Program Coordinator Mike Stefancic and a surprise visit from the Fire Monitor Program Manager Brian Doughty made this a very fun and exciting week. The team presented their Mid-season Project to Mike and their Agency Partner Dan before resuming their normal schedule of plant removal. Work this week continued at the Old Hotel site and with the help of Mike and Brian, the team was able to work in larger groups than normal. The team was sad to say goodbye to Mike and Brian but excited to start the next week of work.
Week 7 
This week the team continued their work at the Old Hotel site. Work included removing willow, cottonwood, and red maple trees but was interrupted mid-week by severe weather including a tornado warning. This allowed the team to enjoy a day to research the local area for their Mid-season Project. During high winds the team is unable to remove trees over 12 feet high and tree inches in diameter due to the inability to predict where they will fall. Also, herbicide cannot be applied when it is raining so it was not possible to do field work that day. The following day work continued at the regularly scheduled project site.
Week 6 
This week the team finished their first work site by clearing the remaining trees and brush from the area. Tuesday and Wednesday the team helped Park Service employees by preparing the aquatic grass-like species Scirpus validus and Scirpus acutus for planting, first freeing up and cutting all the tangled root systems then placing the individual plants into buckets. The team brought the plants to a new site called Old Hotel Road and spent the next day and a half planting 100s of plugs using hand trowels and dibbles to dig the holes. On Wednesday the team finished planting and spent the last hour of the work day removing woody plants from their new work site, the Old Hotel Site. Thursday the team continued clearing brush with loppers and chainsaws, spraying every stump with herbicide as they went.
Week 5 
This week was especially gratifying for the team. The week started off in the same site as the previous weeks and the crew was really happy to see the progress they have made and the large expanse of area they have successfully cleared. It rained on Wednesday causing a change of plans and the team welcomed the chance to work with Park Service employees. After a tour of the planting grounds and a quick overview of local plants, the crew participated in every part of the planting process: planting in the greenhouse, transplanting, prepping plants for planting, covering a greenhouse for winter, and finally planting in the bog. The team was excited to see what a site looked like after seven years of restoration work versus the initial clearing stages which they have been working on for the past few weeks.
The Crew 
Week 4 
This week the team really worked together restoring a large region of the work site. The main focus for the week was removing the spice bush understory and other small trees such as cottonwoods. Shrub and tree removal is necessary in this area in order to one day restore the wetland to the original sedge meadow that is currently being outcompeted by woody plant species. Removal was accomplished through extensive chainsaw work, lopping, and the application of aquatic safe herbicide to ensure long-term results and ecosystem health. It was a great week for the team, clearing large areas and getting to see some great results already. An interesting aspect of the Indiana Dunes team’s work is that they are actually removing native plants that were introduced to the wetland habitat in the past and are now out-competing the plants that once thrived there.
Kate Day 
Stacy Stone 
Nicholas Coppola 
My name is Nicholas Coppola, born and raised in Pennsylvania. At Philadelphia University I obtained a bachelors degree in Management Information Systems and I have recently branched into the Geographic Information Systems field. Ever since my AmeriCorps Vista experience working in Utah and promoting outdoor recreation for people with disabilities, natural resources have become my focus. I am looking forward to this opportunity to grow, learn, and give back to our lands.
Clifford Dornbusch 
Salutations. My name is Cliff and I am a senior at Green Mountain College in VT, majoring in Natural Resource Management. I currently live in Massachusetts. I look forward to learning how to live with others in a secluded environment. I have always been fascinated with wetlands and the ecology surrounding them. I hope to develop field skills with the SCA that will assist me in my goal of becoming an arborist.
Week 3 
After returning from training, the team dove right in to working in the field. Everyone was excited to put their newly acquired skills to work. It was a gratifying experience meshing all of our previous knowledge and education with this new endeavor in conservation. The team learned how to work as a cohesive unit while sawing, lopping, and applying herbicide to non-wetland plants such as willows, cottonwoods, grape vines, and other assorted shrubs.
Week 2 
The crew flew to Portland, OR and was joined by fellow Native Plant Corps crews from Gateway and Congaree. They traveled to Longview, WA to Camp Evergreen where the ten day Crew Member Training would take place. They were trained in Wilderness First Aid, CPR, The Game of Logging chainsaw training, restoration ecology, botany, GPS, and an introduction to salmon which were spawning in the area. The hospitality at Camp Evergreen was amazing! It was great to meet the other Native Plant Corps teams but the crew was excited to get back to Indiana and put their skills to work.
Week 1 
The crew members arrived safe and sound on September 8th. The team bonded over some fun and exciting activities before training began. The Indiana Dunes team met their NPS agency partner, went over SCA policies, and visited work sites. The local farmers market was a big hit with the crew and helped them to start the season off sustainably.
Stephanie Orlando 
Hello everyone. My name is Stephanie Orlando and I am the Project Leader at Indiana Dunes this fall. I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but have spent the last six years traveling and working around the country. I studied Biology at The University of Tampa and began working as an SCA Corps Member after graduation. In fall 2008 I was a Crew Member for the Native Plant Corps in Yuma, AZ at Imperial NWR and then joined the New Hampshire Conservation Corps in 2009. I am excited to be returning to SCA and the Native Plant Corps as a Project Leader and look forward to working in the Dunes.