Jeff Rennicke Articles

Protecting the Apostles from plastics one lunch at a time

Protecting the Apostles from plastics one lunch at a time

Sandra Harris just wanted to make her kids a healthy lunch. She may have started a revolution that could change your next trip to the Apostle Islands. Harris, who worked as an investigative journalist, was all-too aware of the worldwide plastic pollution problem and its associated health issues. But from years in the nonprofit world, she knew too that change could happen if people just had the tools to work with. Then, an idea came to her one-day while packing school lunches for her kids.Stainless steel lunch boxes and snack containers - Ecolunchbox photo“I wanted to eliminate plastics from...

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

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

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?For Friends of the Apostle Islands, 2022 meant a record number of new members and supporters, volunteers...

Friends organizations gather in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Friends organizations gather in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The autumn splendor and wispy fog of Great Smoky Mountains National Park may seem like a world away from the Apostle Islands, yet those Tennessee mountains were the backdrop for the recent fall 2022 Friends Alliance conference sponsored by the National Park Foundation.Nestled among the valleys of the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, Tennessee served as the site for the annual gathering that brought together over 200 people representing 84 organizations – from Alaska Geographic and the Alliance for Florida’s National Park to the Zion Forever Project – and an array of personnel from the National...

52 candles – celebrating Founders Day in the Apostle Islands

52 candles – celebrating Founders Day in the Apostle Islands

September 26th marks 52 years for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and kicks off a new commitment for FriendsIt was September 26, 1970. After years of meetings, negotiations, revisions, and debate, there finally came these words: “for the benefit, inspiration, education, recreational use, and enjoyment of the public … there is hereby established the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.” With those words, Public Law 91-424 officially established the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, a place that preserves beauty, adventure, and offers reconnection to nature. The twenty-one islands and...