Interpretation Articles

Our Work – Articles about Friends’ work regarding interpretation.

A spring fling to hear the birds sing at Little Sand Bay

A spring fling to hear the birds sing at Little Sand Bay

There's always something to see, hear and experience at Little Sand Bay in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Friends board member Neil Howk takes us along on a recent nature walk.I went to Little Sand Bay to do some birdwatching on this fine June morning. I donned my bug shirt and walked around the parking lot, out to the end of the road, into the woods, through the Hokenson Fishery, along the beach, past the marina, around the visitor center and TWILITE exhibit, past the Town of Russell boat launch, through the dunes, across the outlet from the lagoon, and back along the beach to the...

Planting history: Volunteers tend the Michigan Island gardens

Planting history: Volunteers tend the Michigan Island gardens

National Park history is often depicted on interpretive signs and in ranger talks. It is displayed in glass cases and glossy brochures. But in the Apostle Islands, history is alive and blooming in the historic gardens of the Michigan Island Lighthouse.Elizabeth Lane - NPS photoEd Lane served as the Michigan Island Lighthouse Keeper from 1902 to 1938, the longest stint of any keeper at a single Apostle Islands light. Somehow, among the work of raising three children on a remote island, Elizabeth Lane, the keeper’s wife, also found time for her passion: flower gardening. A coastguardsman who...

Faces of Friends: watercolorist Dale Whittaker to join Friends cruise as Artist in Residence

Faces of Friends: watercolorist Dale Whittaker to join Friends cruise as Artist in Residence

Creative inspiration can happen anywhere in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. On the sparkling water. On the singing sand beaches or near the rugged sandstone caves and cliffs. Or on a winding trail deep in the island forests. Watercolorist Dale Whittaker says he finds inspiration for his paintings in the islands; not in the grand vistas and postcard views but in the small moments in this special place. Friends is pleased to announce that Dale will be an Artist in Residence on the 2024 Friends of the Apostle Islands cruise on August 8th. He will speak informally about the role of art...

2024 Island School students depart Bayfield for an adventure of a lifetime

2024 Island School students depart Bayfield for an adventure of a lifetime

A Superior send-off. For more than three decades, Island School has empowered local school kids to learn in and experience the beauty of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. They departed City Dock today on a three-day, two-night immersion experience on Stockton Island, led by Northland College and the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute and funded in part by Friends of the Apostle Islands.More than 5,000 students have attended Island School since it began in 1986... students who might otherwise not get to experience the islands. Former Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore...

Faces of Friends: Photographer Mike DeWitt and boating for beauty

Faces of Friends: Photographer Mike DeWitt and boating for beauty

Mike DeWitt’s boat, the Compromise, is often the first one in and the last one out at the Apostle Islands Marina. His love of the Apostle Islands is captured in his beautiful photography which has graced many brochures and presentations of Friends of the Apostle Islands including the cover of the last three Annual Reports. His work, through his Apostle Islands Photography website has been widely admired and is prominently displayed in many Chequamegon Bay area businesses and now graces the cover of the 2024 Bayfield Chamber of Commerce Travel Guide. In this interview with Friends Board...

Reading the sacred skies: new book offered by Friends

Reading the sacred skies: new book offered by Friends

Since long before books, humans have turned to the night sky to read portends, seek beauty and meaning, and to find their place in the universe. A new book, now offered on the Friends’ website, speaks to both the human connection to the night sky and hopes for its protection.Spirits Dancing: The Night Sky, Indigenous Knowledge, & Living Connections to the Cosmos features the photography of Travis Novitsky and text by Annette S. Lee. Novitsky, a member of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, uses his lens to capture the awe and wonder of the northern lights. Lee, both an...

Northern lights celebrated during 6th annual Aurora Summit at Red Cliff

Northern lights celebrated during 6th annual Aurora Summit at Red Cliff

The weekend of November 3-5th saw one of North America’s largest displays of aurora borealis (northern lights) this year, visible as far south as Colorado. While clouds obscured the display in the Apostle Islands, even cloudy skies could not dampen the enthusiasm of the several hundred skywatchers gathered at the Legendary Waters Resort in Red Cliff for Aurora Summit 23.“The Aurora Chasers knocked it out of this world over the weekend at Aurora Summit 23,” said Melissa Kaelin, co-founder of the Aurora Summit, and author of Below the 45th Parallel: The Beginners Guide to Chasing the Aurora in...

Meet the new Apostle Islands National Lakeshore division chief: Lucas Westcott

Meet the new Apostle Islands National Lakeshore division chief: Lucas Westcott

It takes a strong team to protect the natural and cultural resources of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, while enhancing the experience for more than a quarter-million people who visit the park every year. With that in mind, Friends board member Neil Howk sat down with the park's new Director of Communications and Education, Lucas Westcott. They talked about the skills and experience Westcott brings to the park, his first impressions about what makes the Apostle Islands a special place and about the important work that's ahead.Neil: Where are you from Lucas?Lucas: Originally, I’m from...

New Ojibwe educator hired for Apostle Islands National Lakeshore  (Wenabozho ominisan)

New Ojibwe educator hired for Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Wenabozho ominisan)

Bayfield, WI – (National Park Service news release) Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, in partnership with Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, announce Peyton Martinson as the newly appointed park ranger cultural educator for Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. “In her new role, Peyton will work with the park’s visitor service and education team to enhance public and staff understanding of Ojibwe culture and help integrate Ojibwe language, traditional knowledge, and Ojibwe perspectives into park operations,” said Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Superintendent Lynne Dominy. “She...

WATERCOLORS: Five questions (+1) about painting in the Apostle Islands with watercolorist Dale Whittaker

WATERCOLORS: Five questions (+1) about painting in the Apostle Islands with watercolorist Dale Whittaker

Tinged with the colors of a morning sky, dotted with autumn leaves, reflecting the greens of pine needles and the soft orange of the sandstone walls, Lake Superior can seem like a work of art all by itself. The allure of those colors has long attracted painters seeking to capture even a glimpse of the natural beauty of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands. Recently, Executive Director Jeff Rennicke spent a morning in the Islands with watercolorist Dale Whittaker drifting, talking about art and light and mystery and inspiration.As they talked, a painting began taking shape under the artistry...