Conservation Articles

Our Work – Articles about Friends’ work regarding conservation.

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...

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...

Bayfield’s Carnegie Library embraces dark sky protection with planned lighting changes

Bayfield’s Carnegie Library embraces dark sky protection with planned lighting changes

Teresa Weber, Library DirectorBayfield Carnegie Library’s motto is “A compass for curious minds.” One of the primary goals of library director Teresa Weber is to enlighten the public. Right now, Teresa is also trying to “enlighten” the walkways leading to the library without negatively impacting the dark skies over the city. Teresa recently spoke with Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore board member Neil Howk about this upcoming project. Neil also serves on the library board.Neil: What do you know about the history of the lamp poles presently at the library?Teresa: I have some...

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...

Native plants are important assets to a healthy Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Native plants are important assets to a healthy Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

After a winter of record-breaking snowfall – approaching 185 inches – the native plants are slowly emerging from the Gaylord Nelson Memorial Garden at park headquarters in Bayfield. Volunteers recently gathered to tease out the weeds and look for old friends that have been in residence since the garden’s establishment in 2006.“It’s always good to see our early bloomers, pasqueflower (an important food source for nesting female bees) and prairie smoke,” said Erica Peterson, one of the garden volunteers. Columbine was blooming and pollinators were busy in the wild geraniums. (Click to enlarge...

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...

Protecting the Apostles from plastics one lunch at a time

Protecting the Apostles from plastics one lunch at a time

Sandra Harris just wanted to make her kids a healthy lunch. She may have started a revolution that could change your next trip to the Apostle Islands. Harris, who worked as an investigative journalist, was all-too aware of the worldwide plastic pollution problem and its associated health issues. But from years in the nonprofit world, she knew too that change could happen if people just had the tools to work with. Then, an idea came to her one-day while packing school lunches for her kids.Stainless steel lunch boxes and snack containers - Ecolunchbox photo“I wanted to eliminate plastics from...

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...

Lakeshore Logbook –  Neil and Forrest Howk

Lakeshore Logbook – Neil and Forrest Howk

Neil and Forrest in the Stockton Island campground As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the 35th in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Neil Howk worked as a Seasonal Interpretive ranger, supervisory park ranger,...

Lakeshore Logbook – Ian Williams

Lakeshore Logbook – Ian Williams

As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees. This is the 21st in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees. Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives. Ian Williams served as Stockton Island Ranger during the summers of 1988 and 1989.  It’s strange to think that APIS was still a fairly...