Connect with your Friends at Canoecopia in Madison, Wisconsin March 10-12

See you at Canoecopia, March 10-12 in Madison WI - text over sea caves photo

March 4, 2023

If paddling the amazing sea caves in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is on your bucket list, we invite you to see us at Canoecopia in Madison, Wisconsin next weekend, March 10-12. This annual event includes more than 100 educational presentations and clinics on kayaking, canoeing and related topics, including two by Friends Executive Director Jeff Rennicke. You’ll also be able to learn from the experts what gear you need to safely explore the islands.

Alliant Energy Center
1919 Alliant Energy Way

Event host Rutabaga Paddlesports of Madison says Canoecopia is the largest paddlesports consumer event in the world. The Alliant Energy Center Exposition Hall will be filled with more than 100,000 square feet of kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards, outdoor equipment and clothing, with the best selection of the season.

Event organizers say “you can learn about specific gear for your style of paddling, develop skills to get you where you want to go, and discover some of the many places to paddle, both near and far. If you’re interested in experiencing life on the water, Canoecopia is the best place to spend the weekend!”

Presentations during the three-day event run the gamut of topics, from trip planning and safety to conservation, gear and equipment. You can see the list, by topics, here. Be sure to join us Friday and Saturday afternoons for these important and inspiring presentations:

Access For All: Apostle Islands For All

Sylvania – main floor Saturday 4:30pm-5:15pm

Tracy Tabaka looks out at the blue horizons of Lake Superior. There, just beyond the Meyers Beach parking area, lie the green jewels of the wild Apostle Islands, the famous sea caves. She smiles, thinking of the freedom she will feel with a paddle in her hands, the wind in her face. She has been dreaming of this moment for years.

But that smile fades as she looks down at the barrier before her – 45 steps tumbling down the 23-foot bank to the launching area below – and then at her

National parks, like the Apostle Islands, belong to all of us. Yet for the one in five Americans like Tracy who live with mobility challenges, “all those stairs” can spell the difference between the adventure of a lifetime and a lifetime of being left behind.

This program will detail a new initiative of Friends of the Apostle Islands in support of the National Park Service aimed at making the Apostle Islands “the most accessible inaccessible national park in the country.”

Join Jeff Rennicke, Executive Director of Friends of the Apostle Islands to hear about Access For All and keeping the promise in the Apostle Islands that our national parks belong to All of Us.


Infinity symbol in green and orange Access for All
Jewels on the Water: How the Apostle Islands inspired the jewelry of Lissa Flemming and the photography of Jeff Rennicke
Caribou – upstairs Friday 3:30pm-4:15pm

The beauty of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands does more than provide a place for adventures. It inspires. In this program silversmith Lissa Flemming and photographer Jeff Rennicke tell of how the endless variety of shapes, forms, colors, and moods of the lake has inspired their art. It is a celebration of beauty. Come be inspired by the art of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands, those jewels on the water.

Feather on the water - photograph by Jeff Rennicke and the jewelry it inspired

Feather on the water – photograph by Jeff Rennicke and the jewelry it inspired by Lissa Flemming

Jeff writes, “This one is special. I was aboard the “Little Dipper” alone early one morning sipping coffee off the north side of Basswood Island and watching an eagle perched in a nearby tree. We both seemed content to just let the morning drift until the eagle took flight, flew almost right over the top of me and vanished. Except for a single primary feather that drifted down out of the morning sky like a gift and settled in the water just a few yards from the boat.

I made the photo, accepting the gift, and now Lissa has captured that with her own creative gift.”

Lissa calls the piece “Feather. on the water,” a sterling silver cuff with hand-forged feather and blue topaz set in 18k gold.

During their presentation, you will see how Jeff’s photographs inspired Silverwaves Jewelry owner Lissa Flemming to create some really beautiful pieces.

Friends of the Apostle Islands will also have a booth in the lobby in front of the show floor, all three days of the event. We invite you to stop by, say hello and ask us anything about the park we love and learn how you can get involved. Canoecopia tickets are available at the door. We’ll see you at Canoecopia 2023!

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