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All articles published by Friends of the Apostle Islands can be found on this page. Scroll through the articles below or use the Search, Topic or Date options to narrow the focus.

Snowshoeing the Lakeshore Trail offers spectacular views

Snowshoeing the Lakeshore Trail offers spectacular views

With every breath, crisp air tickles the lungs. With every step, new-fallen snow crunches beneath the snowshoes. And around every bend in the Lakeshore Trail, a new, spectacular wintry view awaits. Friends of the Apostle Islands board members Neil Howk and Mark Peterson recently snowshoed the trail and brought back some wonderful photographs to share as well as some tips you can use to safely enjoy a similar adventure.NPS Lakeshore Trail Map With appropriate clothing, gear and preparation, exploring the Lakeshore trail in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in winter offers rewards you won't experience during the summer months.  The trail starts at the Meyers Beach parking lot off of Highway 13, northeast of Cornucopia. Please note...

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New challenges require new voices: Friends of the Apostle Islands welcomes new board members

New challenges require new voices: Friends of the Apostle Islands welcomes new board members

Friends of the Apostle Islands, the official nonprofit philanthropic partner of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, recently announced the selection of two new members to join its board of directors. “Friends is proud to announce the addition of both Neil Howk and Jess Nuutinen to our board,” Executive Director Jeff Rennicke recently said.Both new members bring with them deep connections to the Apostle Islands. Jess Nuutinen, currently a Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at Ashland’s Memorial Medical Center, has the islands woven deeply into her family history.“I have a family connection to the origination of the Apostle Island National Lakeshore,” she says. “My grandfather, Dr. Bruce Culver Prentice, worked with Martin Hanson...

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Friends shares top social stories of 2022 as we anticipate an exciting 2023

Friends shares top social stories of 2022 as we anticipate an exciting 2023

"Oh, the weather outside is frightful." Yes, it's a line from the holiday standard, "Let it snow," but it also applies to this story. As we wrap up 2022, we're looking back at the top social stories of the year and weather is among the most popular topics. For this year-ending Top 10 list, we're looking at the Friends Facebook posts and related stories that reached the most people and sparked the most interest.At number ten on the list, "Talk about a beautiful sight. Today is #WorldWaterDay 2022." Our Facebook post featured this satellite photo showing the Apostle Islands locked in ice, surrounded by open water for the vast majority of big, blue, beautiful Lake Superior in March of 2022. (Click to enlarge any photo in this story.) If...

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Restoration of historic dock completed at Little Sand Bay

Restoration of historic dock completed at Little Sand Bay

The fabled gales of November couldn't stop reconstruction of the historic Hokenson Brothers Fishery dock at Little Sand Bay in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Battered by storms for decades, the dock and related buildings are listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places and are the focus of a $1.4 million preservation and restoration effort by the National Park Service.This summer, construction crews from Pearl Beach Construction Company of Michigan used heavy equipment and a barge to rebuild the dock as historically accurately as possible, using wooden pilings and log cribs filled with boulders as well as more modern corrugated sheet steel piles in places. The herring shed, which was removed from the original...

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THE PERFECT GIFT: The gift of caring for a place you love

THE PERFECT GIFT: The gift of caring for a place you love

Think of the gifts these islands have already give you – the warm sand on your feet as you etch your footprints into a sun-warmed stretch of beach, the mystery of the sea caves with the harp-like drips of water all around, the sweet sailing winds in the sails, the starry nights around the campfire. To all who have been here, and even to those who are still dreaming of it, the Apostle Islands have been a gift of adventure, beauty, history, and memories.So when looking for the perfect gift this holiday season, look no further than the islands themselves. Available on our website you will find books like Apostle Islands Water Trips by John Frank and Jewels on the Water by Jeff Rennicke, both signed by the author and bound to spark dreams of...

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What a difference a year makes: A year-end letter from our Executive Directors

What a difference a year makes: A year-end letter from our Executive Directors

From the deck of a sailboat or the cockpit of a kayak, from a beach walk or the top deck of the cruise boat, when you look out at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore you are looking into deep time. The sandstone of the cliffs can date back 700 million years. The lakebed itself was scooped out by glaciers that retreated perhaps 12,000 years ago. Even a single drop of water can take a century to work its way out of the lake basin. Against such a timescale, what can a single year mean?For Friends of the Apostle Islands, 2022 meant a record number of new members and supporters, volunteers tending the gardens at the Michigan Island Lighthouse, and children becoming Junior Rangers sporting badges your donations helped make possible. Sand...

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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 difficulty is all those stairs.” For the one in five Americans, like Tracy, who live with mobility challenges daily, “all those stairs” can spell the...

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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 years, Peter and Ginny owned and ran TMG Inc. an organization focused on supporting people with a variety of disabilities and helping them live meaningful...

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Together we are stronger: Access for All Advisory Committee formed

Together we are stronger: Access for All Advisory Committee formed

The Access for All Advisory Committee brings together like-minded people who are committed to improving access to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore for people of all abilities. We appreciate the expertise, enthusiasm and connections these committee members bring to this largest-ever fundraising and awareness campaign in the 20 year history of Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.  Honorary ChairpersonGreg Lais, Founder and former Executive Director of Wilderness Inquiry Committee Chair for FriendsErica Peterson, Friends Board chair emeritus Committee MembersKelley Linehan, Friends Board ChairLynne Dominy, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore SuperintendentBill Botten, Training Coordinator, U.S. Access BoardJohn Boyle,...

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Together we are stronger: Access for All Advisory Committee formed

Friends receives Memorial Medical Center donation for Access for All

Study after study has proven the myriad of health benefits from time spent outdoors. Yet, access to wild places is often a barrier to the very people who need those benefits the most. To aid in efforts to make one such wild place, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, more accessible, Memorial Medical Center in Ashland, Wisconsin recently announced a generous donation to Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore for its “Access for All” initiative."We are happy to support the efforts of organizations that provide access to outside spaces that benefit individuals of all abilities."Memorial Medical Center is a Critical Access hospital with more than 50 full-time physicians and more than 600 employees. The Apostle Islands National...

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