About Us Articles

Learn more about the structure and purpose of Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

Outgoing board member Erica Peterson shares lifelong love for nature, passion for the Apostle Islands

Outgoing board member Erica Peterson shares lifelong love for nature, passion for the Apostle Islands

"Erica is a force of, and for,  nature." That's how park superintendent Lynne Dominy describes Erica Peterson, retiring president and board member of Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Erica finished her tenure on the Friends board of directors at the end of January.  Over the years, she devoted her heart, time and talent to supporting the national lakeshore and to building the Friends group into the strong and vibrant organization it is today. Friends Executive Director Jeff Rennicke says, "With all of her creativity, Erica came up with so many great ideas she started what...

New year, new faces: Friends of the Apostle Islands adds three to its board of directors

New year, new faces: Friends of the Apostle Islands adds three to its board of directors

Fresh off the inspiring success of its Access for All capital campaign, Friends of the Apostle Islands recently announced the addition of three new members to its distinguished Board of Directors: Janet Bewley, Greg Lais, and Mary O’Brien.“New challenges require new viewpoints and voices,” says Jeff Rennicke, Executive Director of Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. “Each of the new board members will bring a fresh perspective and new energy to our organization.”Janet BewleyJanet Bewley understands northern Wisconsin. From acting as an original cast member of the Big Top...

New challenges require new voices: Friends of the Apostle Islands welcomes new board members

New challenges require new voices: Friends of the Apostle Islands welcomes new board members

Friends of the Apostle Islands, the official nonprofit philanthropic partner of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, recently announced the selection of two new members to join its board of directors. “Friends is proud to announce the addition of both Neil Howk and Jess Nuutinen to our board,” Executive Director Jeff Rennicke recently said.Both new members bring with them deep connections to the Apostle Islands. Jess Nuutinen, currently a Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at Ashland’s Memorial Medical Center, has the islands woven deeply into her family history.“I have a family...

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...

New Friends board member helps train Colombian national park rangers

New Friends board member helps train Colombian national park rangers

What do you do when you retire from sharing the stories of our national parks with thousands of park visitors for 40 years? One option is to teach others how to do it well. Newly-elected Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore board member Neil Howk recently joined a small group of retired National Park Service employees sharing their knowledge, experience, and some practical tools for planning and implementing the interpretation of the natural and cultural heritage with their counterparts in the National Natural Park System (PNN) of Colombia.Otún Quimbaya Fauna and Flora...

Friends launches new website focused on discovery and accessibility

Friends launches new website focused on discovery and accessibility

As part of our mission to inspire more people to fall in love with and help us support and protect the park, Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore launched a new website. The new friendsoftheapostleislands.org offers stunning visuals, a new way to discover the park before your next adventure and new tools designed to make the site more accessible to people of all abilities. "The new website showcases the rugged beauty of the islands in a way that touches your heart," said Executive Director Jeff Rennicke. "From there, our goal is to help everyone learn about this wonderful place...

Friends Volunteers Tend Historical Gardens

Friends Volunteers Tend Historical Gardens

Imagine tending something that is 112 years old. Three volunteers (limited due to COVID safety protocols) recently joined two National Park Service rangers with shovels and watering cans to tend the gardens at Michigan Island.Flowers bloom in front of the old Michigan Island Lighthouse – Erica Peterson photo“We are the keepers of the light” is a tune often sung at Big Top Chautauqua. Michigan Light was first built in 1856. Lighthouse families there kept gardens to supplement both their food and leisure life. Volunteers from Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore helped the park...

What Friends Are For: Watch Our New Video Introduction

What Friends Are For: Watch Our New Video Introduction

What is a Friends group? How do they help our national parks? How many are there? Good questions.  Of the 423 units managed by the National Park Service, over half have supporting partner organizations or “Friends” groups. From Friends of Acadia to Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Friends of Virgin Islands, these groups support their parks in a diverse array of ways – from fundraising for the preservation of historic structures to organizing cadres of volunteers to plant gardens, clear trails, even pick up litter. Each year, the efforts of these combined groups contribute over...

Make a Friends Membership Part of Your Trip Planning for Your Apostle Islands Adventures

Make a Friends Membership Part of Your Trip Planning for Your Apostle Islands Adventures

Camping Permit? Check. Life Jackets? Check. Friends of the Apostle Islands Membership?  Launching an adventure into the Apostle Islands takes planning and all the right gear. Your membership with Friends can be an important part of it. Here’s why. Singing sand beaches, the whisper of waves against the shoreline, island nights strung with stars against velvety black skies, campfire stories of lighthouse keepers, shipwrecks, and strings of deer tracks on a sunrise trail. You are going to fall in love with the Apostle Islands, or if you’ve been here before, deepen your love and appreciation of...

In Memoriam: Walt Pomeroy

In Memoriam: Walt Pomeroy

Friends, and all who loved the Apostle Islands, lost a guiding light when board member Walt Pomeroy passed away on Tuesday, May 24th surrounded by his family including Lin, his wife of 43 years. Walt’s wisdom, guidance and unending ideas have been critical to the growth of Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and a myriad of other environmental organizations he worked with. The staff, board members, and volunteers of Friends send our most sincere condolences to his family and many friends. He will be missed and remembered. A ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 16 at Silver...