Our Work Articles

Learn more about the work of Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore including projects focused on accessibility, conservation, education and preservation.

Celebrating Friends: 2022 annual cruise a sweet success

Celebrating Friends: 2022 annual cruise a sweet success

At Friends, our staff, board members, and volunteers can often be found in deep discussions over issues, planning budgets, setting up meetings, the everyday stuff of any organization. However sometimes you just have to set that all aside and return to the heart of things: the reason for doing all of it. Sometimes, you just have to go to the islands. Recently 58 Friends members, donors, board members, and supporters boarded the Superior Princess at the Bayfield City Dock for our 2022 Annual Cruise, a signature Friends event, this year sponsored by Wickcraft Boardwalks.Superior Princess – Jeff...

State Leader Hears from Friends and National Park Service About Accessibility Projects

State Leader Hears from Friends and National Park Service About Accessibility Projects

Coastal management and accessibility projects were on the agenda, as Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore participated in discussions with Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld. The Secretary met on June 29th with representatives from the Ashland, Bayfield and Red Cliff communities in Northwest Wisconsin, as well as six organizations and community groups providing housing, coastal management and conservation services in Ashland and Bayfield counties. In Bayfield, the Secretary met with City of Bayfield staff, former Bayfield mayor and...

Access for All

Access for All

Photo courtesy of Wilderness Inquiry  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, the famous sea caves. She smiles, thinking of the freedom she will feel with a paddle in her hands, the wind in her face. She has been dreaming of this moment for years.  But that smile fades as she looks down at the barrier before her — 45 steps tumbling down the 23-foot bank to the launching area below – and then at her wheelchair. “When I pick up a paddle, I am no more disabled than...

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...

The Apostle Islands School: A Rite of Passage for Chequamegon Bay Youth

The Apostle Islands School: A Rite of Passage for Chequamegon Bay Youth

By Erica Peterson For me, the history of the Apostle Islands School reads like a logbook—full of sketches, personal reflections, images, challenges, and surprising outcomes. It’s stuffed with lesson plans, menus, Ojibwe words, and most importantly, the life changing comments and stories from over five thousand students who spent three special days in the heart of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.  The Apostle Islands are among the most beautiful places in the world. Lake Superior is a master at carving a landscape, painting a skyscape, adding adventure to any experience, and instilling a...

Badges of honor: Celebrating Junior Rangers

Badges of honor: Celebrating Junior Rangers

Raise your right hand and repeat after the ranger: “I am proud to be a National Park Service Junior Ranger. I promise to appreciate, respect, and protect all national park places. I also promise to continue learning about the landscape, plants, animals, and history of these special places. I will share what I learn with my friends and family.” With that oath, and a completed Junior Ranger booklet, you too can join the millions of people, the young and the young-at-heart, who have become Junior Rangers with the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS Junior Ranger program is an activity-based...

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...

We’re live at Canoecopia this weekend!

We’re live at Canoecopia this weekend!

It’s show time! We hope you’ll join us this weekend at Canoecopia – the world’s largest paddlesport show, in Madison, Wisconsin. It’s a great place to learn about all things related to paddlesports and adventuring as well as a retail show with just about every imaginable boat, board, paddle or accessory. And we all know that the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is an amazing place to paddle! We’ve set up our Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore booth on the main show floor and filled it with collectible fine art prints, Friends merchandise and more. We’ve got lots of...

A Time Capsule Letter to the Future Stewards of the Apostle Islands

A Time Capsule Letter to the Future Stewards of the Apostle Islands

What would you say to the future? Our 50th anniversary celebration of the creation of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is over. The speeches have been given, the cupcakes eaten, the candles blown out. But the legacy of all we have accomplished in the park, our honoring of the past and excitement about the future, will live on in a kind of “time capsule” being submitted to the National Park Service commemorating this anniversary year. It will include pamphlets and pins, photographs and invitations and the texts of speeches given. It will include the proclamation issued in honor of the...