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Meet Your Neighbor: Brenda Campbell

Meet Brenda Campbell! Brenda lives in Chesterton and has been married for just over 25 years. She has two daughters, Jessica, 23 and Julia, 21. Brenda has been teaching at the Field Station Cooperative Preschool for the past seven years. When she is not working, she is probably running or thinking about running. 

What brought you to the dunes? My husband, Leroy Campbell, is a Chestertonian. We met at Purdue and after a year in Indy we made our way  back to Chesterton.

How long have you lived here? I have lived in my home for 25 years this December. It was going to be a “starter” house. I moved a lot as a child and once my two daughters were born I really wanted them to have a home that they would make memories in. Mission accomplished!

What is your favorite thing to do in the area? I love to run. I have been running for 17 years. About four years ago I discovered the trails and began running ultras. On the majority of my runs I am joined by my lab, Lulu. She is the perfect running partner. She runs my pace and her joy for running is contagious. It’s hard to have a bad run with her.

Tell us a secret about the dunes. I think the extensive trail system that can be linked together right here in Chesterton would surprise many people. It is easy to put together a 20+ mile trail loop with very little contact with pavement. And the majority of these trails can be accessed free of charge.

Give us your top three “hidden treasures” (restaurant, shop, trail, beach, event…really anything!)

a) The Field Station Cooperative Preschool is such a special place.

b) There is a network of trails tucked in between Waverly Road and Mineral Springs Road. It is a beautiful area and the perfect place for a shorter hike. Everyone parks at the Cowles Bog lot and heads west but the trail less traveled goes east.

c) Bartlett’s Gourmet Grill is hands down one of my favorite places to eat year round. The food is amazing and the owners are great people.

What would you like to teach people about the dunes? As a teacher of very young children, I wish more parents would see the benefits of spending time in nature with their children. Kids of all ages delight in learning about the plants and wildlife around them. Drop the tablet and take a hike.

Anything else? If you have a preschool age child or grandchild, please check out the Field Station Cooperative Preschool. The program is centered on nature study and seeks to develop in all of its students a love of learning, critical and independent thinking, creativity and imagination, social skills, and improved self confidence and self esteem. The curriculum includes all pre-reading and math skills appropriate for the pre-kindergarten age group.

Also, check out Lulu’s Instagram account, @runnin_with_lulu. She’d love for you to follow her!

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