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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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State Parks > About Us > Friends Groups Friends Groups

The Indiana State Parks and Reservoirs’ volunteers and partners mission is to build widespread support of the division’s programs, facilities and resources (natural, cultural and human) by individuals, groups and the business community, and to foster philanthropic traditions through recognition of this support.

Why Friends?

Friends Groups provide a unique support system for our properties. Members are people who love our parks and reservoirs and want to help keep them healthy for future generations. Our friends groups volunteer to help with events, work on trails, fundraiser for specific projects and offer other financial support for the purchase of equipment, supplies or other materials as needed. In the process, the people who belong to these groups meet new people, have opportunities to learn and grow and gain the satisfaction of helping support our sites. View a slideshow of volunteers helping out.

In general, the purposes of our local friends groups include the following:

  • Support the conservation and enhancement of the natural and cultural resources that are the foundation of state parks and reservoirs.
  • Support interpretation and education that enriches visitor experiences and encourages land use ethics and appreciation for the unique natural and cultural resources of Indiana.
  • Support the design, construction and maintenance of facilities that enhance visitor experiences at state parks and reservoirs.
  • Support scientific research that leads to a better understanding of the natural and cultural resources of state parks and/or reservoirs.
  • Generate funding, separate from revenue and legislative appropriations, to be used for conservation of resources, facilities and interpretation through memberships, grants, gifts, bequests or other means.
  • Provide an avenue of volunteer service for Indiana’s citizens that enriches their lives.

Support a Local Friends Group

There are several ways to help a Friends Group. One is to become a member. Each of our Friends Groups needs new members. You can be a monetary member. Yearly memberships are inexpensive but greatly help the property. Or you can be an active member. Active members are needed to help keep events and projects going. Please consider joining a group today. Don’t feel like joining but still want to help? Come to one of the many events sponsored by our Friends groups.

Upcoming Events:

  • Friends of Indiana Dunes Annual Native Plant Sale
    Saturday, April 8, 2017, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
    At the Porter County Visitors Center, 1215 N. State Road 49, Porter.
    This is about 1/2 mile north of Interstate 94, and it is just south of U.S. 20.
    100+ native plant species available for purchase and pre-order.
    For questions, contact

    Friends of McCormick’s Creek State Park Annual Native Plant Sale
    Saturday, April 22,2017, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
    McCormick’s Creek State Park Nature Center
    Several native plant species available for purchase.
    For questions, contact or (812) 829-4344

    Friends of Shakamak and the ROOTS Running Club
    Long Fish Dash, 7k Trail Run
    Saturday, April 22, 2017, 10 a.m.
    Shakamak State Park, 6265 State Road 48, Jasonville.
    For questions, or to register, go to
  • Friends of Mounds State Park annual Native Plant Sale
    Saturday, May 13, 2017, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. EST
    Mounds State Park, 4306 Mounds Road, Anderson, IN 46017
    100-plus native plant species available for purchase.
    Questions, contact: or (765) 649-8128.

Which Sites Have Friends Groups?

We currently have friends groups for these properties:

NOTE: If you visit the links above, you are leaving the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website. The DNR does not control and cannot guarantee the relevance, timeliness, or accuracy of the materials provided by other agencies or organizations, nor does the DNR endorse other agencies or organizations, their views, products or services.

How Can I Start a Friends Group?

If you are interested in helping to start a friends group for your favorite state park or reservoir property, contact the property manager or the full-time interpretive naturalist to see if it is an option in that location. You will need a core group of individuals who can work hard; serve as the initial officers; coordinate articles of incorporation; establish non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); publicize and support the groups organization the first few years. There is time and energy involved, but it can be a rewarding effort.