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June 2020
MCC President's Observation Notes

As the pandemic wears on you might think little to nothing is happening in our city. Well, with leadership of MCC Vice-President Eric Reaves in the role of Executive Director Community Investment, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Interim Superintendent of Gary Parks the list of accomplishments in our neighborhood in the last month is more than we have seen in the last few years. The Lake Street concession stand has been demolished and cleared away. The Lake Street payloader has been repaired by a MCC member and the wave runner boat launch is open. Sand removal has uncovered the sidewalks at Lake Street Beach for the first time since the renovation years ago. Trash was picked up each and every day in Marquette Park during the Memorial Day weekend. A new cashless system is gradually being instituted at all lake front parking lots. Parking revenue in Marquette Park during Memorial Day weekend added up to approximately $8,500. Three new lifeguard stands were built and put in place. Every light that is not working in or around Marquette Park will be repaired. A flooded ditch and a back order of chains has delayed the barge to install the buoys. A number of Gary Police ATVs have been repaired and deployed throughout the lakefront. Various lawn maintenance equipment has been found, some in strange places, and are being repaired to go back into service.
How about those three new stop signs on Oak Ave? The first week results are slowing traffic, a number of citations and one gun removed from the street. 
Friends of Marquette Park have installed No Parking Dusk to Dawn signs in Marquette Park and the Asian bridge is being professionally repaired.
Gary Schools could be doing great things in its system starting July 1. With $450,000 per month for 4 1/2 years they can repair or demolish buildings. All I can say at this time is that the future of the Nobel property is bright.
Recycling containers are being picked up again, now by Republic Services. Donation boxes that inevitably turn into illegal dumping sites are all being removed from the City of Gary.
Let's keep this momentum going!

George Rogge,

Duly Noted...


Don't forget to renew your MCC annual dues of $10.00. Contact the MCC between meetings at PO Box 2645, Gary, IN 46403 or email   

And tell your friends to subscribe to this letter by going to and click on “Sign up for Miller Message.”

Friends of Marquette Park & Shoreline Committee

Please join us by starting or renewing your membership. Here are levels of giving:

Level             Category and What gifts can do
____ $25+     Flower Garden & Trails: Mulch for trails & landscaping
____ $50+     Shoreline: Walkway & stair maintenance
____ $100+    Pavilion Area: Lagoon native landscaping
____ $200+    Fr. Marquette Garden: Seasonal displays & gardens
____ $300+    Mighty Oaks: Major projects to preserve park
____  Major    Park Preservation: Long-term major projects

Please consider a donation in memory of Meg Roman’s mother, Shirley Roman, toward the Roman Family Memorial Bench. Shirley was dearly loved by many in Miller. She was a powerful force in the early days of MCC preserving our community. Our hearts go out to Meg and her family. 

Please write checks to: Friends of Marquette Park/Legacy Foundation and mail to: Friends of Marquette Park, PO Box 2645, Gary, IN 46403
or:   Donate online to Legacy Foundation:, click on DONATE NOW and search for Friends of Marquette Park in Miller.  You may also mail checks to Legacy Foundation, 370 E. 84th Drive, Suite 100, Merrillville, IN 46410

The SHORELINE COMMITTEE, FRIENDS OF MARQUETTE PARK and the MAYOR’S WATER SAFETY ADVISORY TEAM are all working with our City to preserve, improve and support our park and shoreline.

Water Safety Team

BEFORE YOU GO – Check the list

⬜ Know Before You Go – Visit for up-to-date beach conditions.
⬜ Be A Water Watcher – Choose specific adults to watch specific children; don’t depend on the group to keep a general eye out. For example: Aunt Betty is responsible for watching Ellie, and will not stop watching her until another adult accepts full responsibility for watching Ellie. DO NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR WATCHING SOMEONE IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE SKILLS TO SAVE THEM. 
⬜ Slather on the Sunscreen and Bring Shade – You can get sunburned even on cloudy and overcast days. Shade can be a canopy, umbrella, T-shirt, hat. 
⬜ Don’t Just Bring the Lifejackets, Wear Them – Make sure they fit properly and are Coast Guard approved. Floating toys like beach balls and air mattresses are not life jackets and should not be relied upon for safety.
⬜ Pack Trash Bags – Miller Beach lake front has trash cans at the street easements but NOT on the beach. Carry in Carry out. Please keep our beaches clean. 

AT THE BEACH – each beach entrance has a sign with beach rules, please read them.
⬜ Be Extra Careful at Non-Guarded Beach and Those Without Flag Warning Systems.
⬜ Know Where You Are – Take note of what cross-streets you are nearest; there are signs at each street access to the beach (i.e., Warren Street Beach, Rush Street Beach, etc.). * Marquette Park has life guards, the rest of the beach is unguarded.
⬜ Get to Know the Nearest Safety Stations – Locate your nearby Safety Station and practice using the equipment. (Make sure you return it all after you practice.) The safety stations are located near the beach and to the side of the beach path.
⬜ When in Doubt, Don’t Go Out – The bottom of Lake Michigan is very uneven and water depth can change in an instant as sand is moved around by currents. Assess the depth before diving in or allowing children to swim. Locate sandbars not readily visible, and be very wary of currents. If caught in a dangerous current or condition Remember to *Flip, Float and Follow. 
⬜ Test Everyone’s Swimming Skills – This can actually be fun for kids AND adults. Have a contest to see how long everyone can tread water, flip from stomach to back, float without moving, etc. These are the necessary skills to develop. 
⬜ Always Stay Within Arm’s Reach – Keep your little ones close enough to reach out and grab in an instant.
⬜ Don’t Chase Beach Toys – If the water carries them away, just let ‘em go. They’re easily replaceable; you’re not. In Miller Beach south wind days create offshore currents that will pull inflatable off shore.*Refer to Wind and Current page for more information.
⬜ Recognize the REAL Signs of Drowning – Unlike in the movies, drowning people in real life do not always thrash, yell, or raise their hands above the water. They simply sink. Watch your assigned swimmers very carefully.
⬜ Beach Rules – dogs must be on leash, no alcohol, no fires, no grilling. Beach patrol will and does hand out tickets and fines.

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY – Be prepared ahead of time:
⬜ Call 911 for Help – Keep calm and tell the operator you are in Gary, Indiana at Lake Michigan, and which street’s beach you are on (for example, Warren Street Beach) If they ask for a specific address, provide the beach access street and state that it intersects with Lake Shore Drive. Repeat that you are on the beach in Gary, Indiana at _____________ (street name). The zip code for all beaches in Gary is 46403. Send a bystander to up to Lake Shore Drive /beach access path to flag down first responders. 
⬜ Use a Flotation to Rescue a Distressed Swimmer – In an emergency, the life jacket at the Safety Station is intended for the rescuer. Never attempt a rescue without a life jacket or other flotation device. Keep the life jacket or flotation device between you and the victim at all times as victims often panic, putting the rescuer at risk, too.
⬜ Use the Life Ring for the Victim – In an emergency, retrieve the life ring from the safety station and throw it to the victim. Depending on the conditions you may be able to swim it out to them. Before you go out, put the life jacket on. 
⬜ Flip, Float, and Follow the Current – A current can carry you suddenly out away from shore or down the beach. Don’t panic, and don’t try to fight or swim against the current to reach the shore. If you find yourself in trouble, just *Flip, Float, and Follow. 

This is just an overview – be sure to educate yourself and email us at to join our newsletter list.
We collaborate with the following organizations – For more safety information please see their websites: Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium.
Friends of Marquette Park of the MCC Shoreline Committee/ Legacy Foundation *
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Humane Society of Northwest Indiana

It is kitten season!  The Humane Society has kittens available and more keep coming in the door—all colors, ages, and personalities. Come in and find the perfect little companion!  Visits by appointment only. Call. 219-938-3339 and talk to Maryann about available times.

Please remember the Humane Society depends on donations to fund all that they do. They have cancelled all events for the foreseeable future. Without income from fundraisers, the Humane Society is in great need of monetary donations. They continue to employ their regular staff who daily walk, feed, love and otherwise take care of the pets. Consider a contribution today! 
for more information.

St. Mary of the Lake Food Pantry

The next St. Mary of the Lake Food Pantry will be Monday, June 15 from 9:00 am until noon. We will continue with COVID-19 precautions and limited volunteers as we have in the past few months. Pre-bagged food will distributed.

We hope to kick off our new St. Mary of the Lake website in the month of June which will keep you up to date with the latest SML news and announcements. 

We are located at 6060 Miller Avenue. Call 219-938-1373 for more information.

Miller Beach Farmers Market

Miller Beach Farmers Market Opening Day is Sunday, June 7 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm! (Please note new hours have changed from 11:00 to 3:00 to 11:00 to 1:00). The Farmers Market continues though the months of June, July and August. See you at 667 S. Lake Street.

Laird Farms, Grounded Earth Farms and Lake County Eats Local will provide excellent local products to sustain our community.

The Market continues to follow the guidance of the State of Indiana in regards to the current Covid-19 crisis. For more information or to inquire about becoming a vendor please call: 219-938-6758 or email

ONLINE MARKET: In addition to onsite vendors, we are opening an online market where some of our vendors will be accepting pre-orders for pick up at the market. It is not open yet but will be by the weekend (fingers crossed). The shop address is

Miller Garden Club


In an abundance of caution, the Miller Garden Club announces that its 20th Annual Secret Gardens Walk has been cancelled. The event was scheduled for July 11 and 12.

Co-chairs Judy Ayers and Corya Channing made the difficult decision after consulting with several other gardening organizations in the area, which had also cancelled their events, respectively, and the local gardeners who had volunteered to be featured on the club’s walk.  

Limitations on the event due to COVID 19 concerns ultimately determined the cancellation. The club regrets any inconvenience that the cancellation may have caused for avid gardeners who look forward to attending every year.   

Plans for the walk in 2021 are being made now and dates will be set soon. The Miller Garden Club will continue to support gardening education and activism in the community through its programs and community gardening efforts throughout Miller.

Refer to the club’s website at for further information or call 219-938-8532 or 219-938-5911. 

A BIG THANK YOU for the support you showed us at our Annual Native Plant Sale on May 9 and May 23. We also appreciate the respect shown by social distancing and masks donned. As usual, besides the large selection of native trees, shrubs, and perennials, we also had selected herbs, veggies and annuals. We had you covered. A special “thanks” to all our volunteers as this event could not be successful without you!

And Yes! Membership does have its privileges! Membership in the Miller Garden Club has a couple of benefits besides the warm feeling inside of belonging to a great organization with awesome people. You also get a nifty newsletter every month that keeps you informed of all we do in the community. But it does not stop there. No. At fundraising events like the Plant Sale you also get preferred shopping privileges. The annual dues of a mere $20 allows you to come an hour early to shop the good stuff before its gone. Membership sign-up can be completed on our website at

Plans for a June 20th general meeting at the Aquatorium are TBD.

Marquette Park Kids Park

The ore boat at the Kids Park Playground has finally been named after its donor, Jennie B. Kahn. Jennie was a longtime community member and Temple Israel member and contributed all the money needed to pay for the materials for the boat.  Donated blueprints from an ore boat on a Duluth, Mn Park Department playground were used and all labor was volunteered. Jennie never wanted any credit. Jennie and her family are now gone, but we hope her friends in Gary and especially at Temple Israel will be happy to see her name on that boat.

Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education

Good news!  After our Covid 19 closure, the Paul Douglas Center for Environmental Education is set to open again on Sunday, June 14.  We have missed seeing you and sharing the wonders in Miller Woods. We resume our normal summer hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day for groups of 10 or less. Please practice social distancing and wear a face mask.   

The Douglas Center and Nature Play Zone are set to reopen and provide new ways to enjoy the center responsibly. We will be asking visitors to wear masks inside the building. We will be taking out a lot of the touch items and crafts and replacing them with scavenger hunts and videos and other fun activities for families to enjoy safely while social distancing.

As always during the pandemic, you are welcome to hike the trails and bring your picnic lunch.  Currently on the trail, you will see wild lupine, a critical plant in the life cycle of the endangered Karner blue butterfly. Look for the fuzzy leaves of wood betony and listen for frogs and birds trying to find that special mate. See how the Douglas Center animals are doing. We may have some new critters to meet.  Come out and visit us---we can’t wait to see you again! 

The Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education is located at 100 N. Lake Street.  For more information, call 219-395-1882 or visit and    

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