Congressional Record: Visclosky Honors Ruthanne Slamka
Click here for a PDF of Congressman Visclosky's statement for the Congressional Record.
In honor of the Ruthanne Slamka's 40 years of service to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and to Northwest Indiana, Congressman Pete Visclosky entered the statement below into the Congressional Record on July 24, 2012.
Mr. Speaker: It is with great pleasure and admiration that I stand before you today to recognize Mrs. Ruthanne Slamka for her many years of service to the National Park Service (NPS), and more specifically, to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Ruthanne’s 40 years of service to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore have certainly contributed to the park’s success. For her many years of public service and her exceptional dedication to the community of Northwest Indiana, she will be honored at a retirement ceremony on Friday, July 27, 2012.
Indisputably, Ruthanne’s tireless devotion to ensuring the success of the park lent itself to the overall growth of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. As you may be aware, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore came into being on November 5, 1966. Ruthanne Slamka began her work with the National Park Service on July 23, 1972 and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore held a ceremony establishing the park on September 8, 1972.
Much work was needed to acquire land within the park’s boundary, and Ruthanne served as the primary contact for hundreds of individuals and families whose property was acquired. Her knowledge of the properties and the complex acquisition process earned her the respect of the owners, other government entities, and the public at large. Further, the meticulous transcripts Ruthanne produced provide an exceptional insight into the park’s early years, and serve as an invaluable tool for those interested in the rich history of this extraordinary landmark.
Thanks in part to the effort and professionalism Ruthanne demonstrated during her tenure with Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, residents of, and visitors to, Northwest Indiana are able to enjoy the Lake Michigan shoreline as well as the miles of recreational trails and the diverse ecosystem contained within the park’s wetlands, prairies, and forests. My constituents and I are indebted to Ruthanne Slamka for her contributions to the only National Park within the First Congressional District.
Although she has committed herself to serving her community through her work with Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Ruthanne’s dedication to her family and loved ones is equally impressive. Ruthanne and her husband, Joseph, have been married for more than 40 years.
Mr. Speaker, I respectfully ask that you and my other distinguished colleagues join me in honoring Ruthanne Slamka, and in wishing her well upon her retirement. Her lifetime of service to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and her unselfish commitment to serving her community is truly admirable, and for this, she is worthy of the highest praise.