News Articles

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

A spring fling to hear the birds sing at Little Sand Bay

A spring fling to hear the birds sing at Little Sand Bay

There's always something to see, hear and experience at Little Sand Bay in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Friends board member Neil Howk takes us along on a recent nature walk.I went to Little Sand Bay to do some birdwatching on this fine June morning. I donned my bug shirt and walked around the parking lot, out to the end of the road, into the woods, through the Hokenson Fishery, along the beach, past the marina, around the visitor center and TWILITE exhibit, past the Town of Russell boat launch, through the dunes, across the outlet from the lagoon, and back along the beach to the...

Planting history: Volunteers tend the Michigan Island gardens

Planting history: Volunteers tend the Michigan Island gardens

National Park history is often depicted on interpretive signs and in ranger talks. It is displayed in glass cases and glossy brochures. But in the Apostle Islands, history is alive and blooming in the historic gardens of the Michigan Island Lighthouse.Elizabeth Lane - NPS photoEd Lane served as the Michigan Island Lighthouse Keeper from 1902 to 1938, the longest stint of any keeper at a single Apostle Islands light. Somehow, among the work of raising three children on a remote island, Elizabeth Lane, the keeper’s wife, also found time for her passion: flower gardening. A coastguardsman who...

Join us for “Song for the Wild” July 26th at Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield!

Join us for “Song for the Wild” July 26th at Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield!

Sigurd Olson heard the music of the wild places. He paddled, camped, hiked, and listened. Then he put what he heard into the words and stories of his lyrical and well-loved books like The Singing Wilderness and Listening Point.Images courtesy Big Top ChautauquaOn July 26th, Friends of the Apostle Islands is proud to join with the Big Top Chautauqua and Wisconsin Greenfire to present "Song for the Wild," a multimedia concert celebrating the legacy of one of the greatest conservationists of the 20th century, Sigurd Olson. The show features the writings of Sigurd Olson set to music by Warren...

Faces of Friends: Ali and Aidan’s quest to be “kayak guides for life”

Faces of Friends: Ali and Aidan’s quest to be “kayak guides for life”

Ali Erickson and Aidan Lee met at Bayfield kayak outfitter Trek & Trail in 2016. They worked as sea kayak guides over several summers, saying they reveled in the opportunity work outside, surrounded by beautiful water. In 2019, their love for adventure brought them to Alaska where they worked and played with the outdoor community there, but they couldn't stop thinking about Lake Superior. Alaska was their playground, but they say the Apostle Islands were home. In 2022, they moved back to Bayfield where they now own and operate Trek & Trail and support Friends of the Apostle Islands...

Friends volunteers prepare Gaylord Nelson Memorial Garden for a vibrant summer display

Friends volunteers prepare Gaylord Nelson Memorial Garden for a vibrant summer display

The Gaylord Nelson Memorial Garden outside of National Park Service headquarters in Bayfield is ready to put on a vibrant show this summer, thanks to volunteers with Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.The volunteers gathered on a sunny day in late May to remove weeds, invasive species and debris from the prior growing season, to give the desired plant species the room to grow and bloom.Volunteers tend the Gaylord Nelson Memorial Garden - Bob Jauch photosDuring last fall's garden clean-up, volunteer Erica Peterson said, “We started a nursery in the garden so that next year we...

Wave Watch buoys are live! Watch the deployment video and learn how the buoys can help you stay safe on the water

Wave Watch buoys are live! Watch the deployment video and learn how the buoys can help you stay safe on the water

With light winds, sunshine and mild temperatures, deployment day was nearly perfect. On the morning of May 29th, a team loaded a National Park Service boat with buoys, anchor lines, hardware and high-visibility flags, then set out from Roy's Point for the north end of Long Island - the entrance to Chequamegon Bay. There, they deployed the first solar-powered spotter buoy for the 2024 season, as part of the Wave Watch boater safety project. Watch the video and read on for details.  Click to read video transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF reader required)The Wave Watch buoy deployed at Long...

Access for All project funding secured, construction of Meyers Beach ramp planned for 2025

Access for All project funding secured, construction of Meyers Beach ramp planned for 2025

Friends Executive Director Jeff Rennicke announced today, June 4, 2024, that the full funding for our Access for All project has been secured. “The $325,000 you helped Friends raise has been matched by $350,000 through the National Park Foundation, corporate sponsors and other sources to make it possible to move forward on the landmark Meyers Beach ramp project,” Rennicke said in making the announcement.Planning and securing bids from contractors will begin in 2024 with ground-breaking to take place in spring of 2025. “We are on our way. This is a huge moment for those who believe national...

Sign up now for the 2024 Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore annual cruise

Sign up now for the 2024 Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore annual cruise

We hope you'll join us for this year's Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore cruise on August 8th. New this year, cruise Artist in Residence Dale Whittaker will join us to talk about his work and capture some Apostle Islands magic. Read more about Dale here. Enjoy some food and drink, a brief program, a stroll along the beach at Julian Bay with some of your Friends and hopefully, a beautiful sunset on the way back to Bayfield  -- weather permitting, of course.

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

Creative inspiration can happen anywhere in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. On the sparkling water. On the singing sand beaches or near the rugged sandstone caves and cliffs. Or on a winding trail deep in the island forests. Watercolorist Dale Whittaker says he finds inspiration for his paintings in the islands; not in the grand vistas and postcard views but in the small moments in this special place. Friends is pleased to announce that 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...

Celebrate the northern lights by giving back to the night sky

Celebrate the northern lights by giving back to the night sky

They were beautiful, one of the greatest aurora displays in decades with the sun sending at least five immense CME’s (coronal mass ejections) streaming towards the earth, creating a G5 Auroral Storm that made the northern lights visible to a wider swath of the world than we have seen in decades.Northern lights over the Apostle Islands - Jeff Rennicke photosThe sky danced. Not just over the Apostle Islands but as far south as Florida and Texas here in the U.S. and around the world. They shone over the battlefield in Ukraine. The sky glowed pink in Tyrol, Austria. Airline passengers looked out...