Take a stroll. [video by Rod J. Eckrich]


Environmental center, forest preserve offer an oasis in The Region

Looking to take a recreational jaunt during any season? Stop by the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education in Gary’s Miller Beach neighborhood and take a stroll through the scenic Miller Woods.

The Paul H. Douglas Center has been around for 25 years and offers informative staff, events and displays in addition to the opportunity for plenty of physical activity.

The center is kid-friendly and can be engaging to people of all ages. Its indoor displays provide glimpses of the ecosystems in The Region, and there is a room featuring tanks with fish, a salamander and turtles. The weekend I visited the center, a ranger gave a presentation on Martin Luther King Jr. in honor of his birthday. Afterward, we went to a plant bed outside and pulled out invasive weeds. The plants regenerate quickly, so you have to get rid of them as soon as you can, and it will make it easier to plant new stuff in the spring.

With snow on the ground, a hike through Miller Woods is a nice way to take in the sights of the dunes and ponds. For those who don't want to trek through the snow in their regular kicks, the center offers footwear for a more cross-country experience.

Miller Woods is a natural area worth visiting any time of the year.