Vibrant NWI
NWI’s economy is thriving, our people are well educated, growth is
planned, and natural and agricultural areas are valued and protected.
The Town of Munster’s Parks & Recreation Department has been a leader in developing facilities and programs to help their residents maintain an active lifestyle. They were one of the first communities to install trails and sidepaths, including the first bike lanes in the Region along Fran-lin Parkway.

As part of their continuing effort to encourage fitness and protecting the environment, the town recently installed “fitness stairs” on the former landfill adjacent to Centennial Park. Since the landfill closed, the hill has become a popular destination for workout enthusiasts, as well as those seeking an elevated view. From this point, one can easily make out the Chicago skyline.

To help accommodate both users, a staircase with 82 steps was constructed, that rise approximately 45 feet to the top of the hill. The steps will now afford residents a safe way to work out, and to access the outstanding views awaiting up top.

In addition, the new stairs also provide erosion control of the landfill cap. They are modeled after those used in National Parks to mitigate excess runoff, and are designed to be lightweight and flexible to account for the possibility of shifting from the soil and refuse. Flexamat is installed along the outer edges of the stairs and will direct and slow water runoff.  

The new fitness stairs are installed adjacent to Centennial Park, which is located where 45th Avenue intersects with Calumet Avenue in Munster.  
Economy and Place
Interesting News!
The Purdue University Land Use Team completed the American Citizen Planner (ACP) – Indiana version program.

The program aims to train participants and provide them with essential skills and services needed for public planning officials, teach them about best tools and legal aspects in planning, and working with the general public.

The team offers training to Indiana citizen planners, current or future members of advisory plan commissions or zoning appeal boards, interested residents, elected officials, and municipal, county or non-profit staff.

The ACP program training will be offered twice per year, in two sessions. Each session consists of ACP-IN 101, 201, the comprehensive exam, and two in-person workshops.

The first training will be offered in February of 2020. To learn more about the ACP program and register for the next training click here.
Is your city a tree city? If you’re not sure, you can find out here. Tree City USA is a national recognition program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters.

While planting trees can be a nice starting point toward growing and maintaining a vibrant urban forest, it’s actually just a piece of what’s truly needed.

That is why NIRPC and its CommuniTree program partners are promoting and supporting communities to achieve this designation.

To become a part of Tree City USA, a community needs to meet four standards:

  • maintaining a tree board or department,
  • having a community tree ordinance,
  • spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry,
  • celebrating Arbor Day.
NIRPC wants to know what you think about automated (self-driving) vehicles. Love them? Hate them? Don’t know what to think about them?

Please take this 5-minute survey to let NIRPC know what you think here.

Your responses will help NIRPC work with our cities, towns, transportation agencies, and other partners about preparing us all for a future that may include automated vehicles.

Please respond to the survey by January 8, 2020. The NWI 2050 Plan includes Connected and Automated Vehicles in the Action Plan section: Encourage legislators and transportation agencies to explore standardizations in the roadway environment to best
accommodate Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs).

Your responses will help raise legislators’ and transportation agencies’ awareness of what they need to consider in implementing the NWI 2050 Plan.

Participation Opportunity!
NIRPC is currently surveying NWI residents, businesses, and travelers on their experience with congestion. NIRPC is updating NWI's Congestion Management Process, which influences the kind of investments and planning NIRPC and INDOT can pursue in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties. Please take some time to share your thoughts!
NIRPC Commission/ Executive Board Meeting
  • December 12th
  • 9:00 AM
  •  Lake Michigan Room, 6100 Southport Road Portage, IN 46368
  •  Link for more information
  •  Questions? Contact Candice Eklund at 219-254-2501
  • Can’t make it in person? Watch it on YouTube
Funding Opportunity!