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Our Work – Articles about Friends’ projects.

Fifty-Two Candles – Celebrating Founders Day in the Apostle Islands

Fifty-Two Candles – Celebrating Founders Day in the Apostle Islands

September 26th marks 52 years for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and kicks off a new commitment for FriendsIt was September 26, 1970. After years of meetings, negotiations, revisions, and debate, there finally came these words: “for the benefit, inspiration, education, recreational use, and enjoyment of the public … there is hereby established the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.” With those words, Public Law 91-424 officially established the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, a place that preserves beauty, adventure, and offers reconnection to nature. The twenty-one islands and...

Dave Cooper Awarded John L. Cotter Award for Excellence in NPS Archeology

Dave Cooper Awarded John L. Cotter Award for Excellence in NPS Archeology

(NPS News Release) Join us in congratulating David J. Cooper, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Archeologist and Cultural Resource Manager, in being awarded the John L. Cotter Award for Excellence in NPS Archeology for Professional Achievement. “Dave Cooper’s work shows the impact one person can have not only within a park, but across a whole landscape,” said Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Superintendent Lynne Dominy. “Dave has spent his lifetime protecting the historical and cultural resources on and around Lake Superior. From portages to fish camps to lighthouses and shipwrecks, Dave...

State Leader Hears from Friends and National Park Service About Accessibility Projects

State Leader Hears from Friends and National Park Service About Accessibility Projects

Coastal management and accessibility projects were on the agenda, as Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore participated in discussions with Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld. The Secretary met on June 29th with representatives from the Ashland, Bayfield and Red Cliff communities in Northwest Wisconsin, as well as six organizations and community groups providing housing, coastal management and conservation services in Ashland and Bayfield counties. In Bayfield, the Secretary met with City of Bayfield staff, former Bayfield mayor and...

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...

The trail ahead: Friends charts the course for 2022 and beyond

The trail ahead: Friends charts the course for 2022 and beyond

Leaning my shoulder against a birch tree, I stop for a breather and to watch the late afternoon light wash over the forest along the Lakeshore Trail. It is the last day of 2021. The sun will soon set, ending a tumultuous year of challenges, changes, and setting the stage for tomorrow’s sunrise to begin the new year ahead. Seems like a good time to reflect, and to catch my breath. As with all of us, COVID had a deep impact on 2021 for Friends of the Apostle Islands, delaying and extending our planned 2020 50th Anniversary celebration and forcing many of the planned public gatherings to...

Explore the Top 10 Friends website stories of 2021

Explore the Top 10 Friends website stories of 2021

DRUMROLL PLEASE! It has been a big year in the Apostle Islands -- from fun and fanfare to tragedy averted. During this last week of the year,, Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is counting down its TOP TEN Island stories of 2021. In sharing these stories, we thank you, our readers and supporters, for your support and we wish you an adventure-filled 2022 in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. 10 HERE WE GO: Weather stories always resonate with Island Lovers, so the #10 most popular story of the year goes to the tall birch trees dancing in the big gale. 9 At #9 on our...

Volunteers prep Gaylord Nelson Memorial Garden for a long winter’s nap and vibrant spring

Volunteers prep Gaylord Nelson Memorial Garden for a long winter’s nap and vibrant spring

Bayfield-area volunteers and native garden advocates met at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Headquarters in Bayfield for their annual fall cleanup in the Gaylord Nelson Memorial Garden. “It’s really a chance to get the garden ready for next Spring,” says Erica Peterson, one of the organizers. The group deadheaded spent flower heads but left the ones with seeds for dispersal. Flower stalks up to 14” were also left for native pollinators who make homes in the hollow stems. The group is always pleased to see the before and after. Together they put in a combined 20 hours of work, and it...

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...

Replica lighthouse skiff now on display at Raspberry Island Light Station

Replica lighthouse skiff now on display at Raspberry Island Light Station

The Lightkeeper’s Tender “Don A” is now on display in the Fog Signal Building at the Raspberry island Light Station. Over many years, volunteers at the Bayfield Maritime Museum poured countless hours of work into building the 16-foot-long wooden boat. The Don A bears the name of former museum president Don Albrecht, who came up with the idea of building the replica skiff. In late June, volunteer rowers completed a ceremonial maiden voyage between the mainland and Raspberry Island. Watch a music video featuring images from that journey below.The National Park Service recently transported the...

Park visitors praise Stockton Island amphitheater and ongoing accessibility initiatives

Park visitors praise Stockton Island amphitheater and ongoing accessibility initiatives

Timing is everything. On August 13th, the National Park Service and Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore conducted a grand opening of the accessible amphitheater at Presque Isle on the Lakeshore’s Stockton Island.  Pandemic protocols required the ceremony to be small and unannounced to the public but some park visitors who just happened to be on the island at the time took in the program and they’ve provided some heartwarming feedback.The new $55,000 amphitheater, with its gently sloping ramps, wide benches, and accessible entrance, is now available to visitors with mobility...