Friends News & Events

Faces of Friends: watercolorist Dale Whittaker to join Friends cruise as Artist in Residence

Faces of Friends: watercolorist Dale Whittaker to join Friends cruise as Artist in Residence

Watercolorist Dale Whittaker says he finds inspiration for his paintings in the “small moments” more than in the grand vistas and post card views.

Dale will be an Artist in Residence on the 2024 Friends of the Apostle Islands cruise on August 8th. He will speak informally about the role of art in connecting people to the islands. Dale will be sketching, drawing and painting will on board, with one of his works to be auctioned at a later date to be auctioned to benefit Friends.

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Sailboats in the Apostle Islands - Jeff Rennicke

Safe boating is informed boating

Wave Watch is a partnership with UW-Madison and the National Park Service to deploy a system of solar-powered buoys in the Apostle Islands, giving kayakers, sailors and power boaters real-time wave and wind reports refreshed every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day.

Help us deliver real-time information when you need it most.

What are Friends for?

What is a Friends group? How do groups like ours help our national parks and specifically the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore? Watch our new video to learn the answers. We hope you’re inspired to join us.

Discover the Park

Twenty-one islands spread out over 750 square miles of Lake Superior, twelve miles of mainland shoreline, lighthouses, historic fisheries, sixty-six campsites, bears, beaches, sea caves, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a rich and complex landscape. 

Explore the human and natural history of the lakeshore, explore each island, and start planning your next island adventure.



Our Work

Friends is dedicated to enhancing the experiences of park visitors and supporting the priorities of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore staff. Founded in 2002, we undertake a wide variety of efforts, from fundraising for accessibility to tending historic gardens and supporting youth engagement programs.

Our priorities fall under four pillars. Learn more about them and how you can make a difference.

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Our strong partnerships with the National Park Service, the community, and park user groups are helping to identify and remove barriers for people of all abilities – from accessible campsites and audio-enhanced interpretive displays to stability pads at kayak launching sites. Click here to learn what your donations can help achieve as we plan for even bigger, exciting opportunities ahead.


From youth engagement programs to symposiums and a podcast, lifelong learning is a key part of your park experience.  You can support life-changing educational experiences for adults as well as the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates by exploring our online library.


Our parks are a legacy. To protect that legacy, Friends and its members work to preserve history through helping to fund the creation of a lighthouse tender now housed at Raspberry Island Light, installing bat houses and bear boxes to protect wildlife, working to fund the restoration of historic buildings and seeking the protection of our dark skies. Learn how you can help protect the legacy of your park through your support of Friends.


Roll up your sleeves and pitch in. Our volunteers tend the flower gardens at the historic Michigan Island Light, plant beach grass to protect fragile sandscapes, clear trails, participate in beach cleanup and trail clearing. Are you ready to help out? Click here to learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities.

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Why We Give

I support Friends because …

“Silence does not protect, nor educate so I add my voice to protecting and celebrating the islands and the water and the communities in which they exist.”

Lissa Flemming, Friends Member