Service Articles

About Us – Articles about being of service to the Friends’ organization.

Earth Day Community Clean-up in Bayfield set for Saturday, April 20th

Earth Day Community Clean-up in Bayfield set for Saturday, April 20th

As part of Earth Day 2024, please join us for a Community Clean-up event in Bayfield on Saturday, April 20th. This year's Earth Day theme is Planet vs. Plastics, so we're doing what we can to keep plastics and other trash out of Lake Superior.Meet at the National Park Service Headquarters courtyard on Washington Avenue at 9:30 Saturday morning. Bring your own gloves. Bags and safety vests will be provided. We'll also have some muffins and coffee for you. Our community clean-up will run until noon. If you have questions, email jill@friendsoftheapostleislands.org.Volunteers gather for an...

Friends volunteers follow in the footsteps of Michigan Island keepers and gardeners

Friends volunteers follow in the footsteps of Michigan Island keepers and gardeners

It’s a tough act to follow the lightkeepers of old. They were known for tending things - be it brass, the tower light or their flowers. Their gardens at the light stations reflected sincere diligence and pride. Each spring, usually the second week in June, Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore volunteers follow in their footsteps, board a park service boat bound for Michigan Island, and tend to the gardens.“We always wonder what shape the gardens will be in, who survived, or what plants have multiplied. And then there are the weeds. No matter the condition, I am always amazed at...

Connecting people and the Apostle Islands to Costa Rican parks

Connecting people and the Apostle Islands to Costa Rican parks

10 Bayfield area volunteers, including Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore board members Neil Howk and Mark Peterson, recently left snowy Wisconsin to complete two weeks of conservation work on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, under an agreement between Lake Superior’s national parks and Costa Rica’s National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC).The parks are linked by migratory birds that winter in Costa Rica and breed in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and other parks around Lake Superior. The agreement signed in 2013 encourages both institutions to work for the benefit of...

Friends Volunteers Tend Historical Gardens

Friends Volunteers Tend Historical Gardens

Imagine tending something that is 112 years old. Three volunteers (limited due to COVID safety protocols) recently joined two National Park Service rangers with shovels and watering cans to tend the gardens at Michigan Island.Flowers bloom in front of the old Michigan Island Lighthouse – Erica Peterson photo“We are the keepers of the light” is a tune often sung at Big Top Chautauqua. Michigan Light was first built in 1856. Lighthouse families there kept gardens to supplement both their food and leisure life. Volunteers from Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore helped the park...

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...

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...

Watch now: Sense of Adventure: Inspire!

Watch now: Sense of Adventure: Inspire!

Once again, Shakespeare had it right. “Nature,” The Bard once wrote, “has music for those who will listen.” Randall Adams has listened. A singer/songwriter from the Chippewa Valley who was once a sea kayaking guide in the Apostle Islands heard that music in the Islands and used that inspiration to write his song “A Day Among the Apostles.”  The summer wind strumming the waves, the slow repeating verse of the surf, the voices in the bogs at sunrise. There is music in these islands – and poetry and art and a beauty that speaks to the artist’s soul, and through them, to all of us. The islands...

Friends volunteers lend their green thumbs, time and talent on Michigan Island

Friends volunteers lend their green thumbs, time and talent on Michigan Island

Gardening is an important part of the history of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Early lighthouse keepers planted fruit trees, vegetables and grains to provide nourishment for the body; they also planted flower gardens to nourish the soul. On Michigan Island, Elizabeth Lane raised three children where her husband, Ed, was keeper from 1902 until he retired in 1938. She also cultivated some amazing gardens. Of Elizabeth, Coast Guard Chief Walter Parker said,“How she used to love to get up to that island and get at that garden of hers. That whole station was one mass of...

A day at the beach: Friends volunteers help to restore the Lakeshore’s sandscapes

A day at the beach: Friends volunteers help to restore the Lakeshore’s sandscapes

“Shhhhhhhhhh ….” Next to the drumbeat of the waves, it is the music of the wind dancing in the beach grass that is the quintessential sound along the beaches of the Apostle Islands. Waving and swirling, the grasses of a sandscape are the dance of the lake breezes. And, they are also a delicate, fragile, and all-too-often disturbed ecosystem. Recently, a cadre of volunteers from Friends of the Apostle Islands assisted the National Park Service with restoration work on the sandscapes of Raspberry Island and Little Sand Bay in an effort to protect these beautiful and important places for...