United NWI
NWI’s diversity is celebrated, and we work together as a community across racial, ethnic, political and cultural lines for the mutual benefit of the region.
Northwestern Indiana’s weather patterns have been quite a wild card this winter ranging from a 60 degree Christmas day to several dumps of snow throughout the month of December.

Regardless of whether you live in Lake, LaPorte, or Porter County we should all be cautious of how the winter weather can affect the roads we drive everyday.

INDOT works hard to maintain and clear the roadways of Northwest Indiana during these snowstorms, and they also offer tips for drivers in winter weather.

When it comes to slippery winter weather INDOT states:

  • First Snow or Ice: Drivers often aren’t prepared for winter driving and forget to take it slow. Remember to drive well below the posted speed limit and leave plenty of room between cars”

  • Black Ice: Roads that seem dry may actually be slippery - and dangerous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady areas- all are hot spots for black ice. Remember, Ice and Snow, Take it Slow.”

  • Limited Visibility: Stay attentive and reduce speed. Know what’s going on around you.”

  • Four-Wheel Drive: On snow and ice, go slowly, no matter what type of vehicle you drive. Even if you have an SUV with four-wheel drive you may not be able to stop any faster, or maintain control any better, once you lose traction. Four- wheel drive may get you going faster, but it won’t help you stop sooner.”

For current travel conditions or more information on the roadways visit Indiana Travel Conditions or call 1-800-261-ROAD(7623). 
Economy and Place
Interesting News!

Baby boomers and millennials want very different types of houses, and it's creating a major problem in the real-estate market.

Nearly fifteen to twenty years ago, boomers were building large, elaborate houses in sprawling suburbs but now, faced with the effort of maintaining such houses, they are looking to downsize.

However, younger generations are not interested in buying their houses and prefer smaller, more modern-looking alternatives, in walkable areas to living miles from retail.

According to the article "Homes built before 2012 are selling at steep discounts — sometimes almost 50%, and many owners end up selling for less than they paid to build their homes."

NIRPC’s 2050 Plan emphasizes housing for all people and ages, especially those within existing communities.

Read the full article here
Community applications are now being accepted by the CommuniTree program for the Spring 2020 tree planting season.

Applications are due by Friday, February 21st. For complete details please visit CommuniTree’s Community Application page here.

Since 2017, NIRPC has been able to purchase and sub-award nearly 2,000 native trees with Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant funding from the U.S. Forest Service.

Launched in May of 2019, the Great American Rail-Trail envisions an unbroken off-road trail from Washington D.C. to Seattle, WA. Spearheaded by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the “Great American” will stretch more than 3,700 hundred miles while passing through 12 states. The concept aims to create an incomparable experience exploring America’s heritage and scenic beauty

In Indiana, the Great American will pass right through the heart of the NIRPC Region, entering from the east at the Kankakee River in LaPorte County, then crossing south in Porter County, where it turns northwest into Lake County. Nearly half of the route in Indiana is already built, although much work remains in our Region.

NIRPC has been working with stakeholders on this national vision locally so as to take full advantage of the potential tourism the Great American will attract.

For more information about the trail, please visit: Great American Rail Trail.

Surface Transportation Committee Meeting
  •  February 4th
  •  9:00 AM
  • Lake Michigan Room, 6100 Southport Road Portage, IN 46368
  •  Link for more information  
  • Questions? Contact Scott Weber at 219-254-2520
  • Can’t make it in person? Watch it on YouTube
FED: Food Expo & Discussion 2020
Funding Opportunity!
  • The Indiana State Department of Health’s Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity has a tactical urbanism demonstration grant to fund the design and implementation of low-cost, pop-up projects that support active living in Indiana communities.
  •  Applications due February 20, 2020.
Land Use Committee Meeting
  • February 6th
  • 10:30 AM
  • Dune Room, 6100 Southport Road Portage, IN 46368
  •  Link for more information
  •  Questions? Contact Eman Ibrahim at 219-254-2506
  • Can’t make it in person? Watch it on YouTube
Emissions Testing Educational Event
Funding Opportunity!
  • The Office of Community and Rural Affairs’ Quick Impact Placebased Grant will fund space enhanced public art projects.
  • Applications due March 6, 2020.
Ped, Pedal, Paddle Committee Meeting
  • February 6th
  • 1:30 PM
  • Lake Michigan Room, 6100 Southport Road Portage, IN 46368
  •  Link for more information
  •  Questions? Contact Mitch Barloga at 219-254-2518
  • Can’t make it in person? Watch it on YouTube
South Shore Clean Cities Annual Conference
  • February 25th
  • 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM
  • Blue Chip Stardust Event Center, 777 Blue Chip Drive, Michigan City, IN 46360
  •  Link for more information

Funding Opportunity!
  • The Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced round 2 of the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant application. The grant is designed to promulgate access to reliable and affordable broadband service.
  • Letters of Intent are due by February 6, 2020.
  • The full application deadline is April 10, 2020