National Lakeshore officials and volunteers replanted thousands of Marram Grass plants after they were uprooted by winds from Hurricane Sandy.
Planted just weeks earlier, in an effort to restore and retard the erosion of the dune, the grass didn't stand a chance against the 50 -70 mph gusts off Lake Michigan.
Volunteers walked the beach and recovered the small plants blown hundreds of feet across the dune. Others dug a series of holes for volunteers to drop in the small grass plants.
For about a year, areas of Mt. Baldy have been sectioned off with rope to prevent visitors from walking on the delicate grass until it reaches a state where it is mature enough to hold in the blowing sand. These plants will help prevent Mt. Baldy from "walking" away from shore - literally. Sand is picked up by winds from the windward side of the dune, and deposited on the leeward side, in effect, moving the dune grain by grain.
The dune moves on average four feet a year, but it appears to have moved at least that much during this single storm. Trees on the leeward side of the dune are being buried at a fast rate.
As my son and I helped, around 20 others assisted with the planting on Saturday morning - staying as long as they could. Many people helped out the day before too. Their efforts will help Mt. Baldy remain the largest "living" sand dune in Indiana.
Posted by Tom Gill at Wednesday, November 07, 2012