As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees.
This is the 17th in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees.
Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives.
Josh Sweet worked as a seasonal Park Ranger at Meyers Beach from May to October of 2014.
What is the coolest thing you did in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (APIS) as part of your job?
Now that’s a loaded question. I think I can narrow it down to two experiences. Roving hikes in the bog on Stockton Island while interpreting carnivorous plants, and roving kayak trips near the mainland sea caves while interpreting the many facets of the great Lake Superior.
What is the most fun experience you had in the park?
Interpreting the park’s use of renewable energy and promoting climate change education at the Meyer’s Beach trailhead.
Please share a memorable experience you had in the park.
Working for the Apostle Islands was truly an honor and a dream come true. The balanced combination of cultural history, environmental education, and outdoor recreation makes the Apostle Islands one of the most incredible national parks in the region.
What is the most amazing thing you saw in the park?
Lake Superior amazes me every time I get a chance to look at it.
Please share an accomplishment from your tenure at APIS that gives you pride.
One of my greatest accomplishments while working at the Apostle Islands was publishing an article in the Student Conservation Association’s (SCA) newsletter, The Greenway. The article highlighted my journey from a national park volunteer and intern to my first appointment as a park ranger at the Apostle Islands. It is my hope that this message helped to inspire others to take part in environmental-based career paths so that we can continue to teach visitors about the significance of the natural world.
What story from your time at APIS do you share most frequently?
My quest to see all of the Apostle Islands lighthouses.
What, if any, ’something’ from your time at APIS was an impetus for your chosen career or life path?
Working at the Apostle Islands helped narrow my interest and career path to one that involves significant park visitor services. Working as a seasonal park ranger at Meyer’s Beach helped prepare me for working with large groups of visitors all at once and multitasking in an actively busy park environment.
If you could return to just one place in APIS, where would you go? Why?
Devils Island. There are few places in the world that make me feel as small as one does when standing on Devil’s Island. It is truly a humbling and awe-inspiring experience.
Josh is currently the Office Administrator at the Lowry Nature Center of Three Rivers Parks in Victoria, Minnesota. He is also the Editor of The Trumpeter, a local publication from the Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter. We want to thank him for his entry into our 50th Anniversary Lakeshore Logbook. We look forward to sharing more Logbook entries with you in the coming weeks. You can find the whole series here.