What a difference a year makes: A year-end letter from our Executive Directors

Sailboat silhouette against the setting sun in an orange sky

Written by Jeff Rennicke

December 4, 2022

From the deck of a sailboat or the cockpit of a kayak, from a beach walk or the top deck of the cruise boat, when you look out at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore you are looking into deep time. The sandstone of the cliffs can date back 700 million years. The lakebed itself was scooped out by glaciers that retreated perhaps 12,000 years ago. Even a single drop of water can take a century to work its way out of the lake basin.

Against such a timescale, what can a single year mean?

Jeff's viewpoint while opening the presentation

For Friends of the Apostle Islands, 2022 meant a record number of new members and supporters, volunteers tending the gardens at the Michigan Island Lighthouse, and children becoming Junior Rangers sporting badges your donations helped make possible. 

Exploring the Sand Island boardwalk – Jeff Rennicke photo

Sand Island boardwalk – Jeff Rennicke photo

We supported the efforts of the National Park Service in continuing its boardwalk project on Sand Island.

We debuted a brand-new website featuring state of the art accessibility tools.

And we kicked off the largest initiative in our 20-year history with the Access for All campaign.

Infinity symbol in green and orange Access for All

A year may seem like just the flick of a wave against the shore, but with your generosity Friends has used 2022 to continue to grow, take on new challenges, become a stronger voice and an even stronger partner in support of the park you love. Read our Annual Report here. (PDF)

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?

National parks may seem timeless, but it takes the support and generosity of people like you to keep them beautiful. 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 on our website. It is easy, convenient, and important. Your gift will help chart the course for years to come. Thank you for all you do to help protect and preserve these Apostle Islands.


Jeff & Jill Rennicke, Co-Directors of Friends of the Apostle Islands

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