Today, September 25th, 2021 marks the end of the 50th Anniversary celebration for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore; tomorrow will be the start of the park’s 51st year and an exciting future.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued a proclamation honoring the park’s first half-century and its positive impact on the state and its people. The proclamation also recognizes the need to continue to treasure and protect the park in the future.
Read the full text below.
STATE OF WISCONSIN: OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
WHEREAS ; on September 26, 1970, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore was officially established by the United States Congress as a national lakeshore, with the goal “to conserve and develop for the benefit, inspiration, education, recreational use, and enjoyment of the public”; and
WHEREAS; this national lakeshore, including the federally designated Gaylord Nelson Wilderness which covers approximately 80 percent of its land area, provides unparalleled views of Lake Superior, 21 islands, and 12 miles of mainland shoreline, with endless educational opportunities as well as opportunities for recreational fishing, boating, sailing, sea kayaking, camping, and hiking throughout the lakeshore; and
WHEREAS; the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is Wisconsin’s only national lakeshore and it hosts over 250,000 visitors each year, who make essential contributions to the economic vitality of our state by supporting more than 560 jobs and spending approximately $39 million annually in surrounding communities; and
WHEREAS; the National Park Service at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is tasked with preserving and protecting some of Wisconsin’s most beautiful shorelines, bold sandstone cliffs, and sea caves, as well as Anishinaabe homelands, historic lighthouses and fishing camps, and so much more; and
WHEREAS; in addition to the people who call the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore home, including the Anishinaabe who have inhabited the area since time immemorial, the area is home to hundreds of species of plants, migratory and non-migratory birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, and these rare communities, habitats, and species of plants and animals include some of the finest coastal wetlands, sandscapes, and remnants of ancient forests in the Midwest; and
WHEREAS; in 2020, more than 50 organizations, businesses, and individuals joined together to plan and implement a year-long, statewide celebration of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore’s founding with an eye toward encouraging the next century of conservation of Wisconsin’s only national lakeshore; and
WHEREAS; today, the state of Wisconsin joins the Red Cliff Band and Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and all other affiliated native nations, in continuing to utilize the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore for cultural, economic, and recreational purposes, alongside the people who live in nearby communities and tourists who visit throughout the year, and in reaffirming our commitment to working with the National Park Service to maintain Wisconsin’s Jewel of Lake Superior as a center of cultural, historical, and natural importance for the entire nation;
Now, therefore I, Tony Evers, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, do hereby proclaim September 26th, 2021 as the 51st anniversary of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore throughout the State of Wisconsin and I commend this observance to all our state’s residents.
Tonight, Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore joins with park leaders and community members to close our year-long celebration. You’re invited to join us at Washington Avenue Beach at 7 p.m. for a candlelight commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
In addition to brief speeches by key stakeholders, you will be able to view the collection of flags created by the children of the Stewards of Tomorrow program displaying their hopes the lake and the islands, and enjoy a 50th Anniversary cupcake.
Join us tonight to be a part of history and the first steps toward the future. Learn more about tonight’s event here.