News Articles

Newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events and happenings.

THE PERFECT GIFT: The gift of caring for a place you love

THE PERFECT GIFT: The gift of caring for a place you love

Think of the gifts these islands have already give you – the warm sand on your feet as you etch your footprints into a sun-warmed stretch of beach, the mystery of the sea caves with the harp-like drips of water all around, the sweet sailing winds in the sails, the starry nights around the campfire. To all who have been here, and even to those who are still dreaming of it, the Apostle Islands have been a gift of adventure, beauty, history, and memories.So when looking for the perfect gift this holiday season, look no further than the islands themselves. Available on our website you will find...

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...

Giving Tuesday 2022 – Access for All

Giving Tuesday 2022 – Access for All

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 and the famous sea caves. She smiles, thinking of the freedom she will feel with a paddle in her hand, the wind in her face. She has been dreaming of this for years. But that smile fades as she looks down at the barrier before her – 45 steps tumbling down a 23-foot bank to the kayak launching area below – and then at her wheelchair. “When I pick up a paddle,” Tabaka says, “I am no more disabled than anyone else. The only real...

Getting things done: Black Spruce Fund makes $25,000 pledge to Access for All

Getting things done: Black Spruce Fund makes $25,000 pledge to Access for All

“We made an investment and things got done.” That is how Peter Tropman and Virginia Graves describe the satisfaction of donating to Friends of the Apostle Islands and the Access for All initiative through their Black Spruce Fund. “Friends is a dedicated and competent organization to work with and they continue to grow. It was satisfying to see an investment on our part get a lot of things done.”It seemed a natural connection. Born and raised in Buffalo, NY and living for years in Milwaukee, Peter says, “the Great Lakes have been a part of my life as long as I can remember.” For over 30...

Friends receives Memorial Medical Center donation for Access for All

Friends receives Memorial Medical Center donation for Access for All

Study after study has proven the myriad of health benefits from time spent outdoors. Yet, access to wild places is often a barrier to the very people who need those benefits the most. To aid in efforts to make one such wild place, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, more accessible, Memorial Medical Center in Ashland, Wisconsin recently announced a generous donation to Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore for its “Access for All” initiative."We are happy to support the efforts of organizations that provide access to outside spaces that benefit individuals of all...

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...

Deep roots and a love of fishing: the passing of former Friends Board Member Charles “Chuck” Ludwigsen

Deep roots and a love of fishing: the passing of former Friends Board Member Charles “Chuck” Ludwigsen

For some, the ties to the Apostle Islands and Lake Superior run deep. For Charles “Chuck” Ludwigsen, who passed away peacefully on October 12th, those roots ran as deep as a fishing line. Born in Lombard, IL on April 17, 1937, Chuck traveled widely for both business and pleasure. Yet he never forgot his deep connection to the big lake and the Apostle Islands. His childhood summers were spent working the nets with his grandfather who had immigrated from Norway and became a commercial fisherman in the islands. When not fishing with nets, Chuck could often be found trolling or casting a line...

Access for All: accessing my dream

Access for All: accessing my dream

Guest column by Cheryl Schiltz, Author of Silencing the Noise of Disability My childhood was filled with dreams come true. I walked barefoot with soft green grass under my feet. I watched golden leaves float from their branches dropping a spicey fragrance to the ground. I walked through tall grass with tips of feathery whisps tickling my arms. I would lay down and look to the sky filled with cotton clouds discovering animals, flowers, a mighty mountain range, a face, all floating above me. I walked into lakes feeling its cool water turning off the heat of the day. I was filled with joy as...

The power of one: Paul Blanchard

The power of one: Paul Blanchard

If you were out at Sand Island in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore this summer, you likely saw (and probably heard) the National Park Service crew hard at work hauling planks, pounding nails, tightening bolts, working on an addition to the long-term boardwalk project on the island. If you did, if you saw and heard that work, you experienced the difference that one donor can make. Paul Blanchard, a retired teacher who lives in Cornucopia, Wisconsin, had been looking for a project to donate to in honor of a friend. That friend had spent a career with the National Park Service and so a...

National Lakeshore delivers record-setting boost to northern Wisconsin economy

National Lakeshore delivers record-setting boost to northern Wisconsin economy

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore provides unmatched natural beauty, rich cultural history and amazing adventures, but that's not all. The park is an economic engine, generating nearly $64 million for the economies of gateway communities along the south shore of Lake Superior in 2021.Park Headquarters - Bob Jauch photoThe National Park Service released a report in August on the economic impact of national parks on their surrounding communities. The report says 291,000 people visited the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in 2021. They spent money on places to stay, food to eat, fuel and...