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.

2024 Island School students depart Bayfield for an adventure of a lifetime

2024 Island School students depart Bayfield for an adventure of a lifetime

A Superior send-off. For more than three decades, Island School has empowered local school kids to learn in and experience the beauty of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. They departed City Dock today on a three-day, two-night immersion experience on Stockton Island, led by Northland College and the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute and funded in part by Friends of the Apostle Islands.More than 5,000 students have attended Island School since it began in 1986... students who might otherwise not get to experience the islands. Former Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore...

Reaching for the stars: 2023 Annual Report now available online

Reaching for the stars: 2023 Annual Report now available online

“When the sun first rose in 2023, we could not have imagined the heights you would help Friends achieve in one year,” says Executive Director Jeff Rennicke, “but the future is shining brightly on the islands we love, thanks to you.” The 2023 Annual Report, recently released by Friends of the Apostle Islands and featuring a beautiful night sky photograph by Mike DeWitt, is a chronicle of accomplishments for our organization and a celebration of a year of great success.A successful $325,000 Access for All campaign which will bring more accessibility projects to the park, nearly 200 first-time...

Know before you go: Get your free Wave Watch QR code cling for the upcoming boating season

Know before you go: Get your free Wave Watch QR code cling for the upcoming boating season

One scan of this new Wave Watch QR Code and you’ll be safer on the water this boating season. Friends of the Apostle Islands has partnered with researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the National Park Service to create Wave Watch, a series of strategically placed weather buoys offering boaters free, real-time wave data for five popular boating locations in the Apostle Islands starting in June of 2024.Grab a FREE 4x4 inch sticker or cling for your boat window or water bottle or anywhere on your vessel. Scan the QR Code with your phone and you’ll be taken directly to the Wave...

Stories that capture the wonder and the possibilities of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore are most-read in 2023

Stories that capture the wonder and the possibilities of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore are most-read in 2023

As we raise a glass to embrace the new year, we look back fondly on the momentus year that was 2023 for Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and for the park we love. Thanks to your support, hard work by a growing team of passionate volunteers and by the Friends leadership team, we have a lot to celebrate. With your support we helped more people discover the islands, learn about them, and work to protect them than ever before. We set a record for membership, did more outreach trips, more programs, and successfully completed the largest initiative in our organization’s history:...

Treasures of the night: Friends to focus on protecting the night sky over the Apostle Islands in 2024 and beyond

Treasures of the night: Friends to focus on protecting the night sky over the Apostle Islands in 2024 and beyond

It begins with a faint glimmer, just a hint of brightness on the northern horizon, then builds, rising like an aria. Soon, the night sky is glowing green and red, dancing with light, shimmering like diamonds. The aurora is out. The northern lights are gleaming above the Apostle Islands. Aurora over Honeymoon Rock - Jeff Rennicke photo“To watch the white sail of a full moon gliding across the stars or see the brushstroke of the Milky Way or the flicker of northern lights painting the night sky is to witness one of true the wonders of the world, a gift of nature,” says Jeff Rennicke, Executive...

You did it! Access for All campaign goal reached for Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

You did it! Access for All campaign goal reached for Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

One more stroke of the paddle and the bow touches the shore. You did it. The long journey is complete. With your help, Friends of the Apostle Islands has reached its fundraising goal of $325,000 for its Access for All initiative. “It takes all of us to make a difference,” Friends Executive Director Jeff Rennicke said in announcing the achievement, “and with the help of nearly 200 individual donors and more than a dozen caring, supportive corporate sponsors, we did it together.” The Access for All campaign is to date the largest effort of its kind in the history of Friends of the Apostle...

DOUBLE your impact during the Access for All Matching Grant Challenge!

DOUBLE your impact during the Access for All Matching Grant Challenge!

Double is better: If you give right now to the Access for All initiative of Friends of the Apostle Islands, your impact will be doubled by the Matching Grant Challenge offered through the support of the Black Spruce Fund. Double your efforts to create access to the beauty and adventure of the Apostle Islands. Double your efforts to help the one-in-five Americans with mobility concerns, vision, hearing, even cognitive issues that make a national park adventure difficult without your help. Double your donation today with the Matching Challenge Grant and double the difference you can make, for...

Meyers Beach Ramp, Little Sand Bay trail network advance through National Park Service environmental review process

Meyers Beach Ramp, Little Sand Bay trail network advance through National Park Service environmental review process

The National Park Service has issued a final environmental assessment decision endorsing plans for an accessible ramp at Meyers Beach and new trails at Little Sand Bay, which include Mashkiig (wetland) Boardwalk, Nelson Cabin Trail, and Minisi (island) Overlook Trail. The Park Service decision, which you can read here, said the project does not significantly impair cultural, historic and ethnographic resources, soils and topography, vegetation, viewsheds and visual Resources or water resources. This decision is another step toward making these projects a reality.Plans for Meyers Beach Ramp...

Wisconsin Sea Grant climate and tourism outreach specialist supports Access for All

Wisconsin Sea Grant climate and tourism outreach specialist supports Access for All

“It’s obvious that there’s a lot of thought and passion that’s gone into the work, and it was really cool to see it personally." That's how Natalie Chin, Wisconsin Sea Grant’s climate and tourism outreach specialist in Superior, Wisconsin describes her reaction to Access for All - a Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore initative to make the park more accessible to people of varying abilities. Chin attended one of four Access for All excursions to Stockton Island, where she saw first-hand the accessibility work that's been completed so far, including an accessible amphitheater...

Annual cruise connects Friends supporters with the islands, accomplishments and what’s next

Annual cruise connects Friends supporters with the islands, accomplishments and what’s next

"This was a trip of imagination. It was a trip of gratitude." That's how Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Executive Director Jeff Rennicke summed up the 2023 annual cruise.60 Friends supporters boarded the Superior Princess in Bayfield for the catered cruise to Stockton Island, where they enjoyed some inspiring conversation and gained first-hand exposure to ongoing efforts to make the park more accessible for people of all abilities, as well as the natural beauty of the island.Rennicke chose the accessible amphitheater at Presque Isle to thank supporters for the progress...