Coffee Creek Ecoresort Community : gateway to the Indiana Dunes
The main focus of the project is the implementation of ecotourism at Coffee Creek in Chesterton, Indiana. The educational focus of the ecotourism will be sustainable stormwater management. Coffee Creek was originally envisioned as a new urbanism community centering on the rehabilitation of the creek and sustainable stormwater management. However, following the consequences of illegal practices by Lake Erie Land Company, the developers of the site, little has actually been developed. Ten years after opening to the public, sparse development and the Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve remain. The watershed preserve is the only truly successful attraction from the original design.
The study revealed the potential for the development of an ecotourism destination on site. Chesterton, to many, is the gateway community to the Indiana Dunes. Establishing an ecoresort community at Coffee Creek provides Dunes visitors not only a nearby place to stay but adds to their visit experience as a whole. The ecoresort educates about sustainability and conservation, with a focus on sustainable stormwater management. Artful stormwater design is used to literally immerse the visitors and residents in the process of sustainable stormwater management systems, educating them and raising their awareness.