About Us Articles

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

Stronger Together: The Lake Superior Summit

Stronger Together: The Lake Superior Summit

As remote and out of the way as some of our national parks can feel at times, the old adage still holds true: we are stronger together. In that spirit, a wide-ranging group of park superintendents and park partners staff came together for the Lake Superior Summit hosted by the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation, the Red Cliff Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa, and the National Park Service. The gathering included representatives from Isle Royale National Park, Voyageurs National Park, Pipestone National Monument, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Grand Portage...

Change Begins Here: Friends Represented at the Leadership Institute

Change Begins Here: Friends Represented at the Leadership Institute

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world,” Margaret Mead once famously said. “Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” From April 24th to the 27th, our Executive Director Jeff Rennicke joined a small group of thoughtful, concerned leaders from Friends groups across the country at the first in-person gathering of the 2022-23 Leadership Institute in Portland, Oregon. Representatives from Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Virgin Islands, Acadia, Shenendoah, and Cabrillo National Moment were also in attendance.   A program of the National...

Volunteers Gather for Earth Day 2022 Great Lake Clean Up Event

Volunteers Gather for Earth Day 2022 Great Lake Clean Up Event

Volunteers rolled up their sleeves up on Earth Day, 2022 for a beach and street cleanup in Bayfield, gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. This Earth Day project is aimed at keeping trash off our islands by picking it up before it gets in the lake.  “Every piece of litter on our mainland shores will, if we don’t pick it up now, end up eventually in the lake and on our islands,” Executive Director Jeff Rennicke told the volunteers before the clean up. “Let’s stop the problem before it starts.”Jeff Rennicke talks to the groupThe two dozen volunteers included National Park Service...

By the numbers: Lakeshore visitation sets a record in 2021

By the numbers: Lakeshore visitation sets a record in 2021

Did you visit the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore during 2021? If so, you were part of a record-setting year. According to recently released figures compiled by the National Park Service, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore saw 290,961 visitors in 2021, an increase of approximately 70,000 over 2020 and a number that sets a new record just barely topping the 290,059 visitors recorded in 2014, the famous year of the ice caves. The Lakeshore was one of 44 park units nationwide to set a new single year visitation record.   Fueled perhaps by pent up desires to travel due to the pandemic,...

Erica Peterson’s legacy will live on!

Erica Peterson’s legacy will live on!

Beach walks, bog smells, night skies, and flower gardens Erica Peterson’s legacy will live on in many forms as she steps down after nearly eight years of guiding the Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Enjoy a ranger talk at the all-accessible amphitheater at Stockton Island. Inhale the sweet scent of the flower beds at the Michigan Island Lighthouse. Stroll through history along the Sand Island boardwalk. These classic Apostle Islands experiences and many more have one thing, or rather one person, in common: Erica Peterson. Recently, Friends of the Apostle Islands announced...

The trail ahead: Friends charts the course for 2022 and beyond

The trail ahead: Friends charts the course for 2022 and beyond

Leaning my shoulder against a birch tree, I stop for a breather and to watch the late afternoon light wash over the forest along the Lakeshore Trail. It is the last day of 2021. The sun will soon set, ending a tumultuous year of challenges, changes, and setting the stage for tomorrow’s sunrise to begin the new year ahead. Seems like a good time to reflect, and to catch my breath. As with all of us, COVID had a deep impact on 2021 for Friends of the Apostle Islands, delaying and extending our planned 2020 50th Anniversary celebration and forcing many of the planned public gatherings to...

Leading the way: Friends Executive Director accepted into the National Park Foundation Leadership Institute Class of 2023

Leading the way: Friends Executive Director accepted into the National Park Foundation Leadership Institute Class of 2023

The National Park Foundation announced its selection of Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Executive Director Jeff Rennicke to join its Leadership Institute Class of 2023.  The Leadership Institute is, according to the National Park Foundation, "an intensive 15-month program designed to identify and support cohorts of leaders within national park partner organizations. More than a training program, the Institute is a professional and personal development experience that provides participants with a unique opportunity to understand and develop their leadership style, build...

A Year to Remember: A letter from the Executive Directors and the Friends 2021 Annual Report

A Year to Remember: A letter from the Executive Directors and the Friends 2021 Annual Report

Dear Friend of the Apostle Islands: Fifty years have gone by since the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore was officially designated, protected for all of us. With candle luminaries shining like stars on the beach, we lit up the night on September 26th (our Founder’s Day at the Park) to celebrate and commemorate this important milestone. Anniversaries are a time to reflect and to look ahead. As we put a ribbon on our 50th anniversary year, we’ve celebrated history through our “Where in the Park is Neil?” and “Lakeshore Logbook” series, our “History Mystery” figures, and our “Sense of...

Watch now: Friends receives 2021 Lake Superior Magazine Achievement Award Tuesday in Bayfield

Watch now: Friends receives 2021 Lake Superior Magazine Achievement Award Tuesday in Bayfield

What a beautiful day to celebrate the work of the Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The Lake Superior Achievement Award has honored artists, authors, photographers, government agencies, museums, tribal governments, and now Friends of the Apostle Islands. Konnie LeMay, publisher of Lake Superior Magazine, presented the award on a perfect November afternoon in Bayfield, on Tuesday, November 9th, with the islands and the lake in the background.Earlier coverage (News Release) The Friends of the Apostles Islands National Lakeshore based in Bayfield, Wisconsin, has achieved many...

Rescuers Honored for Saving Capsized Kayakers at Mainland Sea Caves

Rescuers Honored for Saving Capsized Kayakers at Mainland Sea Caves

When five to eight-foot waves swamped kayakers near the mainland sea caves late this summer, life-saving help arrived in the form of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Rangers Karl Carlson, Mark McCool, and Tam Hofman as well as Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Warden Zach Peterson. Last week, all four received Certificates of Merit from the United States Coast Guard Station Bayfield . These certificates are the highest public service award that can be given at the local level. Eleven kayakers were overtaken by sudden worsening conditions on August 21st. The big waves caused...