My apology that this letter has been so long in coming. Thank you for the wonderful article that Harold Henderson wrote about the Indiana Dunes Environmental Learning Center (March 31, 2000, Reader).

None of the publicity that the Learning Center has received to date has been so accurate and complete in telling our story, and none has provided more benefit. It told not only what kids do at the Learning Center but the educational purpose of the activities, making clear that the purpose is much greater and more important than just getting kids outside or learning the names of trees.

Since the story appeared, talking with folks in Chicago about the Learning Center has been easier because usually the other person says something like “Oh yes, I read about it in the Reader.” Often when I am introduced as president, the other person responds, “Is that the place the Reader article was about?” An amazing number of your readers mailed us copies.

The reason Harold Henderson got our story right is that he spent so much time there and asked so many questions of everyone that he almost became a fixture at the Learning Center himself. We are grateful to him for working so hard on the story and to the Reader for publishing it. We think more kids are coming because of it and what they learn will help prepare them to do a better job in caring for the earth than their forefathers did. Thank you again.

Yours truly,

Lee Botts


Indiana Dunes

Environmental Learning