Stewardship Articles

Our Work – Articles about how we preserve history in the park and ensure other have access to all the park has to offer.

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...

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...

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...

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...

Watch: Historic flag raising ceremony at Little Sand Bay

Watch: Historic flag raising ceremony at Little Sand Bay

It was a milestone in history. For the first time since the creation of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, the flag of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa was permanently raised over the park on June 23rd, 2021. The National Park Service joined the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in raising the flags of the United States and of the Red Cliff Band outside of the Little Sand Bay Visitor Center. Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore provided funding for the flag pole and participated in the festivities. Jeff Rennicke Photos Safety protocols for the...

And the sky danced – northern lights put on a show in the Apostle Islands

And the sky danced – northern lights put on a show in the Apostle Islands

CRACK! The lake ice is restless tonight, crackling out in the darkness like old bones, weakened by wind and warm spring days. But I am safely on solid ground along the mainland portion of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. It is nearing midnight. The stars overhead are as bright as sparks from a campfire. But it is not lake ice or campfires that have me out this late, alone and in the cold. It is what is happening just above the ice: here in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore the northern lights are out.  Northern lights over York Island with a meteor tail on the left - Jeff...