A Year to Remember: A letter from the Executive Directors and the Friends 2021 Annual Report

Dear Friend of the Apostle Islands:

Fifty years have gone by since the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore was officially designated, protected for all of us. With candle luminaries shining like stars on the beach, we lit up the night on September 26th (our Founder’s Day at the Park) to celebrate and commemorate this important milestone. 

Anniversaries are a time to reflect and to look ahead. As we put a ribbon on our 50th anniversary year, we’ve celebrated history through our “Where in the Park is Neil?” and “Lakeshore Logbook” series, our “History Mystery” figures, and our “Sense of Adventure” series. Now, it is time to light the way into the future.  

Decades ago, Gaylord Nelson spoke of “future generations” who would become the beneficiaries of the park. Fifty years later, we are that “future generation.” The torch has been passed. It is our turn to care for these islands, for ourselves, for each other, and, yes, for “future generations.” 

With your help, Friends has risen to that task, making your park more accessible to all, reaching out to our youth through our support of Island School and the Stewards For Tomorrow programs, organizing volunteers to plant beach grass on fragile sandscapes, tending flower beds at the lighthouses, and donating over $500,000 to projects in the park since 2002. In recognition, Friends was recently given the 2021 Lake Superior Achievement Award for “contributing significantly to the well-being of Lake Superior and its peoples.” 

Now it is time to look ahead. The future holds challenges that no one could have foreseen — protecting historic structures against climate change, accessibility for the one in five Americans with mobility issues and keeping the park relevant to a whole new generation of stewards. 

Will you help us? Will you join us in living up to the faith put in us by those early park proponents as we seek to protect the place we love and pass it on to the next “future generations”? 

It is our turn now. Please consider making Friends of the Apostle Islands, the official philanthropic partner of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, a part of your year-end giving plan. 

Make your gift online at our website. It is easy, convenient, and important. Your gift will light the way for the park for years to come. Thank you for all you do to help protect and preserve these Apostle Islands.

Sincerely,

Jeff & Jill Rennicke
Executive Directors
Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore