By Amy Mann
What do you like most about summer? Some days, the thought of being inside with the air conditioner blasting sounds heavenly. Other days, Mother Nature calls quite insistently. “Come outside and be with me,” she calls, beckoning with her leafy appendages. And so we go.
Indiana has 20 state parks, almost half of them within a two-hour drive of Kosciusko County. Some offer camping and water activities, and all bring the traveler back to the land and its furry, feathered and scaled inhabitants. Indiana Dunes National Park, 15,000 acres which was designated as the nation’s 61st national park in February 2019, includes 15 miles of shoreline for public use and 50 miles of trails over dunes, wetlands, prairies, rives and forests. It can also be reached from here within a couple of hours.
The Warsaw Community Public Library has a lovely picture book in children’s services that tells the story of a family who starts from their home near us and takes a trip to five major national parks around the country. Jane, the daughter, had made plans that included her iPad, friends and a lot of indoor time. You’ll have to read it to see how the trip affected her. The parks covered include the Everglades in Florida, Big Bend in Texas, Arizona’s Grand Canyon, Yellowstone in Wyoming and Yosemite in California. The journey must have been quite an undertaking. “Our Great Big Backyard” was written by former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna Bush Hager, and illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers. Come in and check it out.
Remember to keep logging books for the “Tails and Tales” summer reading program. It will continue through Saturday, July 31, and will conclude with drawings for large prizes by the following week. The reading program is for everyone, from toddlers to adults.