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Friends volunteers complete Earth Day Community Clean-Up

Friends volunteers complete Earth Day Community Clean-Up

Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore volunteers gathered outside of National Park Service Headquarters in Bayfield on a brisk, cloudy Saturday morning to help keep trash out of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. They enjoyed hot coffee and fresh scones before heading out to collect trash. They filled more than a dozen bags by the time their work was done.We would like to thank today's volunteers for a job well done. Friends Executive Director Jeff Rennicke said, "I'll spare you the pictures of some of the things we found but when you are out there this summer, walking barefoot on a clean beach, take a moment to thank today's crew for showing up and doing the dirty work."Friends has done a number of...

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Faces of Friends: Darcy Schwerin on mindful giving

Faces of Friends: Darcy Schwerin on mindful giving

The heart and strength of Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is people. People who love the islands and step up to support the national lakeshore with their time, talent and treasure. With that in mind, we're launching Faces of Friends, a new series where we introduce some of our Friends and explore their personal connections to the islands. So many of our Friends have great stories to tell, whether they're park lovers, volunteers, donors, business members or board members. During the coming weeks, we'll be sharing their stories. This week, meet Darcy Schwerin.The calming cadence of the waves, the lessons in balance and tenacity told in the white pines clinging to the sandstone cliffs, the Apostle Islands are a place of...

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Celebrate the Apostle Islands during National Park Week, April 20-28

Celebrate the Apostle Islands during National Park Week, April 20-28

Video courtesy National Park ServiceThe Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a national treasure. It's also one of more than 400 national parks being celebrated during this special nine-day event, April 20-28, 2024.The National Park Service has given each day a theme: Saturday, April 20: Discovery What will you discover? A new place, a new interesting fact, a new activity. For parks that have them, entrance fees are waived on this day. (The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore does not charge entrance fees.) Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is doing an Earth Day Community Clean-up event starting at 9:30 Saturday morning. in Bayfield. Details here. Sunday, April 21: Volunteers Use your time and talents as a volunteer in...

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Earth Day 2024: Planet vs. Plastics in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Earth Day 2024: Planet vs. Plastics in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

From the single-use water bottles, containers and bags you might carry into the park to microplastics detected in the lake water around the islands, plastics are having an impact on the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Doing something about our personal and global dependence on plastics is the global theme of Earth Day 2024.Earth Day is an annual event designed to promote the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day on April 22nd, 1970. On that day, an estimated 20 million people nationwide attended the inaugural events at tens of thousands of school and community sites across the United States. Nelson was also the key driver in the creation of the Apostle Islands...

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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 earlier Earth Day clean-up in BayfieldEarth Day will be observed two days after our clean-up, on April 22nd, 2024. Organizers say "EARTHDAY.ORG is...

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Dark Sky Week: from the first lighthouse beacon to the starry skies of today and beyond

Dark Sky Week: from the first lighthouse beacon to the starry skies of today and beyond

Michigan Island Lighthouse - 1913 - NPS photoThe first brilliant beam pierced the ink black skies over the Apostle Islands like a lightning bolt. The year was 1856, when the first keeper lighted the lamp atop the original Michigan Island lighthouse for the first time. In the years that followed, keepers lit a constellation of new lights on Long, Raspberry, Outer, Sand, Devils and Michigan Islands.All of the light stations built in the late 1800s and early 1900s were designed to help mariners navigate their way around the Apostle Islands while avoiding dangerous shoals in the dark of night. They also forever changed the night sky, where the brightest lights had for millennia been the moon and the stars. Fast forward to 2009, when...

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How you can celebrate International Dark Sky Week in and around the Apostle Islands

How you can celebrate International Dark Sky Week in and around the Apostle Islands

International Dark Sky Week draws worldwide attention to light pollution, promotes simple solutions and celebrates the irreplaceable beauty of a natural night. High school student Jennifer Barlow started International Dark Sky Week (IDSW) in 2003. In explaining why she founded the event, Barlow said, “I want people to be able to see the wonder of the night sky without the effects of light pollution. The universe is our view into our past and our vision into the future. I want to help preserve its wonder.”Here are some ways you can discover the nightGet outside at night with friends and family. Get away from city lights to see more stars. Some easy locations in and near the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore include:Little Sand Bay...

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“It basically becomes your life” – Lance Twombly reflects on more than a decade of service in the Apostle Islands

“It basically becomes your life” – Lance Twombly reflects on more than a decade of service in the Apostle Islands

"Once you work for the park service it becomes basically your life." After nearly a quarter century in the park service and a dozen years at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Supervisory Park Law Enforcement Ranger Lance Twombly is retiring at the end of March.  Lance sat down with Friends of the Apostle Islands board member Neil Howk to reminisce about his chosen career path and most memorable moments in the park, and to talk about what's next.Neil: Where did you grow up, Lance? Lance: I was born and raised in Northwood, New Hampshire until just after high school. It’s a small New England town. Neil: So, after high school, what happened then? Lance: I joined the military. The U. S. Army. 1990 to 1994 was my initial enlistment....

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Introducing Faces of Friends: Sue Nelson

Introducing Faces of Friends: Sue Nelson

The heart and strength of Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is people. People who love the islands and step up to support the national lakeshore with their time, talent and treasure. With that in mind, we're launching Faces of Friends, a new series where we introduce some of our Friends and explore their personal connections to the islands. So many of our Friends have great stories to tell, whether they're park lovers, volunteers, donors, business members or board members. During the coming weeks, we'll be sharing these stories, starting with charter boat captain Sue Nelson, interviewed by Friends board member Neil Howk. Neil: Can you tell me about your business? What is it? When did it start?Sue: It’s called Wild Pursuits...

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A first look at new mainland campsites in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

A first look at new mainland campsites in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Normally, in late February, Friends board member Neil Howk would be planning cross country ski outings across the frozen lake to the old brownstone quarry at the south end of Basswood Island, to Honeymoon Rock at the north end of Basswood Island, or from Frog Bay Tribal National Park to the Oak Island sandspit. This year not only is the lake unfrozen, but there has been very little snow for cross country skiing anywhere in the Bayfield area.NPS Map of Lakeshore Trail (Click to enlarge map as well as photos below)Instead, Neil took advantage of two prematurely spring-like days to hike to the mainland campsites along the Lakeshore Trail. Two of the campsites opened last summer. Neil says he hasn't seen them yet and it’s been several years...

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