Wetlands, Dunes & Old Growth Forests

41.6533° N, 87.0524° W

Quiet marshes around the southern edge of Lake Michigan are the legacy left by glaciers over 14,000 years ago. Groves of trees outline the edges of the Great Marsh, protecting expansive wetlands that purify water, filter pollutants, and facilitate storm drainage. Open ponds are hemmed by sways of cattails, also providing filtration. The dunes and wetlands provide a buffer between the lake and the land, protecting inland ecosystems from flooding and damaging winds. American beach grass and other plants root into the sand, stabilizing dunes that, in turn, minimize beach erosion.

These ecosystems invite me to hope, if I deeply contemplate these interwoven systems that balance fragility with an abstruse resilience. There is profound wisdom in the communities that nature creates.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore