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Meet your Neighbors: Robin Janota

Meet Robin Janota! Robin is a Machinist, retired. Happily living and painting in Valparaiso with her Husband and their cats. Robin was one of the artists in the Dig the Dunes first annual Art Exhibit!

What brought you to the Dunes? Growing up just west of here at the State line, “The Dunes” was this faraway fun place where everyone was happy while they were there. Going to the Dunes was synonymous with having a good day. I still feel that way. I’m fortunate that I live much closer now and can explore it more; there is so much to see.

How long have you lived here? I’ve spent most of my life in the Region, current location since 2013.

What’s your favorite thing to do in the area? I love to hike. Our local trail systems are great for body, mind, and soul. I’m fortunate that my husband Craig is a birding enthusiast and also loves to hike so we explore the trails regularly all year. Just when I think we’ve found them all, we find another!

Tell us a secret about the Dunes. I was surprised to learn that the Heron Rookery and Pinhook Bog are part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The Rookery has a trail that runs along the Calumet River. Pinhook Bog gives tours by appointment only. (you can visit the Heron Rookery with Dig the Dunes on our guided hike!)

What are your top 3 hidden treasures…

Tolleston Dunes and Black Oak Savanna. Challenging hike for me but beautiful.

Cowles Bog. I can’t believe I didn’t find this place sooner than I did. Pure Magic.

Bartlett’s on Rte. 12 is a great place with local flavor and crazy good food.

What would you like to teach about the Dunes? I’d teach people to be very mindful of the delicate fragile eco-system that is the Dunes. We should stay in designated areas, do our best to keep out invasive species, never litter or dig anything up and basically just love it for what it is. To me the Dunes are like a sacred sanctuary, I feel the presence of divinity when I’m there; it always makes me happy.

Anything else? I’m mostly retired but I paint for people from their photographs (pet and people portraits, special places, etc.). If this sounds like something you’d be interested in finding out more about, you can find my work on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Etsy at Red Feather Original or on my website at

Also a big thank you to Dig The Dunes for this feature.  It’s been nice to meet you!

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