Meet Triecia Roberts! Triecia loves living in Northwest Indiana. She is a former inner-city social worker from Chicago and is now the business manager of both a local business (Briar Leaf Golf Club) and a local non-profit (Friendship Botanic Gardens). She is happily married and is fortunate to live in the countryside where she has been blessed with gardens, woods, and solitude. She is also fortunate to have two intelligent and successful step-daughters and a granddaughter who live in the area. She and her husband are also active Wish Granters for Make A Wish and serve Northwest Indiana and love serving their community in that way.
What brought you to the dunes? I started coming here on the weekends when I was 11 years old to visit my father in Long Beach in 1981. We would spend many weekends and a few weeks in the summer with him.
How long have you lived here? In my 30s, I purchased a home in the countryside and lived here part time, and am now extremely fortunate to live here full time for the last 7 years. And I have a lot of family around, too!
What is your favorite thing to do in the area? Hike on different trails… There are so many! My current favorite thing to do is to take our 19 month old granddaughter hiking at Bendix Woods. We go for a 2 mile hike with her and then finish at the wonderful playground they have so she can run around and experience her favorite thing to do in the area- the slide!
Tell us a secret about the dunes. Spicer Lake Nature Preserve! I didn’t know about it until I saw a post from Dig the Dunes, and I only live 10 minutes away from it. It is absolutely beautiful and was such a nice surprise when I first visited last year. It inspired me to research the different hiking areas in LaPorte Co, Porter Co, St. Joseph Co. and Berrien Co and I started to make my own hiking resource guide book. I am so happy that Dig the Dunes is expanding on this idea and locating all hiking areas in one place. Thank you, Eve! There are so many places to hike and get active. My husband and I love exploring different hiking trails in the area.
Give us your top three “hidden treasures” (restaurant, shop, trail, beach, event…really anything!)
a) Friendship Botanic Gardens is truly a hidden gem! It is undergoing a rejuvenation. I had never been there until recently and didn’t know anything about it. It is a 105 acre botanical park which was a major tourist destination in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. It has @ 3 miles of trails and is simply a peaceful oasis.
b) Potato Creek State Park has fantastic trails and provides a real ‘get away’ feeling.
c) If you like Japanese food, then visit Woochi in downtown South Bend! It is our favorite restaurant in the area. I highly recommend the ‘Volcano’ roll.
What would you like to teach people about the dunes? There are simply so many things to appreciate in this area… friendly people, beautiful nature with the lake, woods, and open spaces, and an affordable cost of living. I am grateful everyday that I get to live and work in 2 jobs that I enjoy and have a peaceful life with my husband and family.
Anything else? I have been actively involved with the rejuvenation of Friendship Botanic Gardens during the last 2 1/2 years and we have accomplished so much in a short time! We are a primarily volunteer based non-profit, and have dynamic community leaders working diligently to make the gardens a destination point once again. We need community support and cannot accomplish this alone! Please consider volunteering with us or becoming a member to support our efforts. For more information, visit our website at www.friendshipgardens.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org We have many different types of tasks that volunteers can assist with from hosting in our entrance cabin, assisting with educational or fundraising events, assisting with fundraising, as well as actual physical work in the gardens. If you are looking for a meaningful place to donate your time and serve your community, please consider us!
—- Friendship Gardens will have several fun events this summer, like the Garden Gala and Bacchus and Beer Fest. Please check their Facebook page often for details!