Friends News & Events

Join us for “Apostle Islands in National Geographic: the story behind the story”

Join us for “Apostle Islands in National Geographic: the story behind the story”

The March issue of National Geographic magazine celebrates Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands National Lakeshore with the kind of global exposure few other publications can match. “Return to Wild Waters” describes the Islands as a “sublime, yet dangerous playground for kayakers, sailors and powerboaters to explore.” And on March 30th at 7 p.m., you’ll be able to experience the story behind the story during a special online event.

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Jewels on the water: Two artists share the inspiration of the islands

Jewels on the water: Two artists share the inspiration of the islands

The Apostle Islands have long inspired artists, from songwriters to painters, potters, and poets. Recently, two local artists – photographer Jeff Rennicke and silversmith Lissa Flemming – combined their talents in a unique tribute to the inspiration they find among these islands. The result was a one-of-a-kind line of jewelry created by Flemming inspired by Rennicke’s photography, both unveiled during a joint presentation at Canoecopia, the country’s largest paddling expo recently held in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Exploring Basswood Island’s brownstone quarry by skis and snowshoes

Exploring Basswood Island’s brownstone quarry by skis and snowshoes

Cross country skis and snowshoes can transport you across lake ice and snow. With the right destination in mind, they can also transport you back in time, to an era when miners used steam drills and derricks to harvest giant blocks of Apostle Islands brownstone destined for buildings in Chicago, Milwaukee and Bayfield.

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Kayak on water with quote - When I pick up a paddle, I am no more disabled than anyone else.

Access for All!

Want to make a donation that goes straight to work as soon as you send it?

Each year, Friends features one important project and this year it is our Access for All campaign. Support the park’s efforts to build boardwalks, accessible campsites, include accessibility features on interpretative signs and websites, and make our park accessible to all. Make a difference now.

What are Friends for?

What is a Friends group? How do groups like ours help our national parks and specifically the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore? Watch our new video to learn the answers. We hope you’re inspired to join us.

Discover the Park

Twenty-one islands spread out over 750 square miles of Lake Superior, twelve miles of mainland shoreline, lighthouses, historic fisheries, sixty-six campsites, bears, beaches, sea caves, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a rich and complex landscape. 

Explore the human and natural history of the lakeshore, explore each island, and start planning your next island adventure.



Our Work

Friends is dedicated to enhancing the experiences of park visitors and supporting the priorities of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore staff. Founded in 2002, we undertake a wide variety of efforts, from fundraising for accessibility to tending historic gardens and supporting youth engagement programs.

Our priorities fall under four pillars. Learn more about them and how you can make a difference.

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Our strong partnerships with the National Park Service, the community, and park user groups are helping to identify and remove barriers for people of all abilities – from accessible campsites and audio-enhanced interpretive displays to stability pads at kayak launching sites. Click here to learn what your donations can help achieve as we plan for even bigger, exciting opportunities ahead.


From youth engagement programs to symposiums and a podcast, lifelong learning is a key part of your park experience.  You can support life-changing educational experiences for adults as well as the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates by exploring our online library.


Our parks are a legacy. To protect that legacy, Friends and its members work to preserve history through helping to fund the creation of a lighthouse tender now housed at Raspberry Island Light, installing bat houses and bear boxes to protect wildlife, working to fund the restoration of historic buildings and seeking the protection of our dark skies. Learn how you can help protect the legacy of your park through your support of Friends.


Roll up your sleeves and pitch in. Our volunteers tend the flower gardens at the historic Michigan Island Light, plant beach grass to protect fragile sandscapes, clear trails, participate in beach cleanup and trail clearing. Are you ready to help out? Click here to learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Woman using jewelers torch to fuse metal

Why We Give

I support Friends because …

“Silence does not protect, nor educate so I add my voice to protecting and celebrating the islands and the water and the communities in which they exist.”

Lissa Flemming, Friends Member