Volunteering Articles

Support Us – Articles that contain information about volunteering with the Friends’ organization.

Friends Volunteers Tend Historical Gardens

Friends Volunteers Tend Historical Gardens

Imagine tending something that is 112 years old. Three volunteers (limited due to COVID safety protocols) recently joined two National Park Service rangers with shovels and watering cans to tend the gardens at Michigan Island.Flowers bloom in front of the old Michigan Island Lighthouse – Erica Peterson photo“We are the keepers of the light” is a tune often sung at Big Top Chautauqua. Michigan Light was first built in 1856. Lighthouse families there kept gardens to supplement both their food and leisure life. Volunteers from Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore helped the park...

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...

Volunteers wanted for Friends Earth Day cleanup

Volunteers wanted for Friends Earth Day cleanup

We’ve all seen it (75% even admit they have caused it): litter along America’s highways and waterways. According to a recent study by the nonprofit America the Beautiful, litter on roadways is actually down 54% since 2009. But that still means there are at least 50 billion pieces of litter out there along our roadways. The news is not much better for our nation’s waterways where the study claims another 24 billion pieces of trash lie uncollected, a slight increase from the 2009 estimate. While there are no similar studies here in the Apostle Islands, any beach comber knows that we are not...

Friends volunteers lend their green thumbs, time and talent on Michigan Island

Friends volunteers lend their green thumbs, time and talent on Michigan Island

Gardening is an important part of the history of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Early lighthouse keepers planted fruit trees, vegetables and grains to provide nourishment for the body; they also planted flower gardens to nourish the soul. On Michigan Island, Elizabeth Lane raised three children where her husband, Ed, was keeper from 1902 until he retired in 1938. She also cultivated some amazing gardens. Of Elizabeth, Coast Guard Chief Walter Parker said,“How she used to love to get up to that island and get at that garden of hers. That whole station was one mass of...

A day at the beach: Friends volunteers help to restore the Lakeshore’s sandscapes

A day at the beach: Friends volunteers help to restore the Lakeshore’s sandscapes

“Shhhhhhhhhh ….” Next to the drumbeat of the waves, it is the music of the wind dancing in the beach grass that is the quintessential sound along the beaches of the Apostle Islands. Waving and swirling, the grasses of a sandscape are the dance of the lake breezes. And, they are also a delicate, fragile, and all-too-often disturbed ecosystem. Recently, a cadre of volunteers from Friends of the Apostle Islands assisted the National Park Service with restoration work on the sandscapes of Raspberry Island and Little Sand Bay in an effort to protect these beautiful and important places for...

Lakeshore Logbook – Jeff Rennicke

Lakeshore Logbook – Jeff Rennicke

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. Jeff Rennicke This is the eighth 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. Jeff Rennicke worked as an interpretive ranger in 2004 and as a volunteer lighthouse keeper.  He played an important...

Friends to Help Park With Gifts of Time & Money

Friends to Help Park With Gifts of Time & Money

$31,000 is our contribution to the Park in 2018, and volunteers will once again be active come spring. “We are pleased that “Friends” can contribute so significantly to address Park needs. We really appreciate their help and involvement,” says Park Superintendent Bob Krumenaker.  Specifically, “Friends” will be funding several deferred maintenance projects including replicated storm doors to protect the entrances into the Raspberry Island Lighthouse. The old keeper’s quarters on Michigan Island will get a facelift once the lead paint is removed. Funding will remain in place to provide...