CHESTERTON — Dunes Learning Center received a grant from BP America to connect students with nature in Northwest Indiana. The funding will support scholarships for students in East Chicago, Hammond and Whiting, as well as Dunes Learning Center’s annual public events.

“While general operating support from the National Park Service reduces the cost of program delivery,” said Geof Benson, executive director of Dunes Learning Center, “dedicated corporate sponsors like BP America help provide scholarships that bridge the gap for students from low-income households.”

The scholarships are used to provide students who qualify for free or reduced lunch with the opportunity to attend Dunes Learning Center’s school-year and summertime overnight camp programs.

"For many of these students, this overnight experience is their first time away from home,” Benson said. “Despite their close proximity to Lake Michigan and the Indiana Dunes, these students are unaware of the wonders available in their own backyard.”

“BP has a long history of supporting conservation and environmental education programs in Northwest Indiana,” said Amber Russell, BP Whiting refinery operations manager. “I am excited for my family to be involved in something that is core to what I love – education and the outdoors,” said Russell.

Dunes Learning Center is the nonprofit education partner for Indiana Dunes National Park, offering environmental education programs to inspire lasting curiosity and stewardship with nature.

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