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David DabertHammond Ind. adjusts his ice boduring 12th annual Winter WonderlWolf Lake Environmental EducatiCenter Hammond Jan. 19 2013.  |

David Dabertin of Hammond, Ind., adjusts his ice boat during the 12th annual Winter Wonderland at Wolf Lake at the Environmental Education Center in Hammond on Jan. 19, 2013. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media

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AT A GLANCE

The Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative is a bi-state, not-for-profit group and land trust dedicated to the improvement of the Wolf Lake watershed. For more information, call Michael Boos at 933-7149.

Updated: March 1, 2013 7:30PM



Although some people don’t look forward to ice, snow and cold, the Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative counts on them.

Its 12th annual Winter Wonderland at Wolf Lake, conducted recently at the Environmental Education Center across the street from the lake, normally includes ice skating and cross-country skiing. But neither was to be this year, since there was no snow, and the lake ice was not thick enough.

“We replaced the skiing with a two-mile hike,” AWLI director Michael Boos said. “We made the trip to (nearby) Calumet College to see its art show.”

Lisa Pinto of Hammond uses the trails near Wolf Lake.

“It’s important to offer education about this area for future generations,” she said. “It’s amazing what we have in our own backyard, and what the city has done with the parks here.”

The festival included a discussion of American Indian artifacts by Les Marszalek of Chicago, and a program about amphibians and reptiles of Northwest Indiana by Valparaiso resident Alan Resetar of The Field Museum in Chicago.

Local attorney and author David Dabertin of Hammond gave a program on ice-boating safety, plus the dynamics of his hobby. One fact that caught people’s attention was that ice boats can reach high speeds, due to the combination of wind in the sails and the boat gliding on ice instead of moving in water.

Jeremy White of Hammond listened with great interest.

”I’m retiring next fall, and I want to develop new hobbies; ice boating looks up my alley,” White said. “The boat itself doesn’t look too complicated or expensive.”

Three times a year, AWLI sponsors events highlighting wildlife and activities specific to Wolf Lake and nearby areas.

A poster contest for students (depicting activities at and near Wolf Lake) is offered at each event. This year’s poster winner is eighth-grader Karissa Ramos from Scott Middle School in Hammond.



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