Volunteering Articles

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

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...

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,...

Outgoing board member Erica Peterson shares lifelong love for nature, passion for the Apostle Islands

Outgoing board member Erica Peterson shares lifelong love for nature, passion for the Apostle Islands

"Erica is a force of, and for,  nature." That's how park superintendent Lynne Dominy describes Erica Peterson, retiring president and board member of Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Erica finished her tenure on the Friends board of directors at the end of January.  Over the years, she devoted her heart, time and talent to supporting the national lakeshore and to building the Friends group into the strong and vibrant organization it is today. Friends Executive Director Jeff Rennicke says, "With all of her creativity, Erica came up with so many great ideas she started what...

Meyers Beach paddlers, hikers learn about Access for All ramp project during Saturday sessions

Meyers Beach paddlers, hikers learn about Access for All ramp project during Saturday sessions

If your travels bring you to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore this month, stop by the park’s Meyer Beach trailhead. If it’s a Saturday, chances are good that you might find a Friends of the Apostle Islands board member ready and eager to meet you at this popular spot.We’re talking to hikers of the Lakeshore Trail, paddlers launching their kayaks for the sea caves, outfitters and guides, and National Park Service rangers about our organization’s projects and our Access for All campaign.On summertime Saturdays, Meyers Beach is likely the busiest place in the park, because it's the...

Friends volunteers follow in the footsteps of Michigan Island keepers and gardeners

Friends volunteers follow in the footsteps of Michigan Island keepers and gardeners

It’s a tough act to follow the lightkeepers of old. They were known for tending things - be it brass, the tower light or their flowers. Their gardens at the light stations reflected sincere diligence and pride. Each spring, usually the second week in June, Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore volunteers follow in their footsteps, board a park service boat bound for Michigan Island, and tend to the gardens.“We always wonder what shape the gardens will be in, who survived, or what plants have multiplied. And then there are the weeds. No matter the condition, I am always amazed at...

Connect with your Friends at Canoecopia in Madison, Wisconsin March 10-12

Connect with your Friends at Canoecopia in Madison, Wisconsin March 10-12

If paddling the amazing sea caves in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is on your bucket list, we invite you to see us at Canoecopia in Madison, Wisconsin next weekend, March 10-12. This annual event includes more than 100 educational presentations and clinics on kayaking, canoeing and related topics, including two by Friends Executive Director Jeff Rennicke. You'll also be able to learn from the experts what gear you need to safely explore the islands.Alliant Energy Center1919 Alliant Energy WayEvent host Rutabaga Paddlesports of Madison says Canoecopia is the largest paddlesports...

New challenges require new voices: Friends of the Apostle Islands welcomes new board members

New challenges require new voices: Friends of the Apostle Islands welcomes new board members

Friends of the Apostle Islands, the official nonprofit philanthropic partner of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, recently announced the selection of two new members to join its board of directors. “Friends is proud to announce the addition of both Neil Howk and Jess Nuutinen to our board,” Executive Director Jeff Rennicke recently said.Both new members bring with them deep connections to the Apostle Islands. Jess Nuutinen, currently a Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at Ashland’s Memorial Medical Center, has the islands woven deeply into her family history.“I have a family...

What a difference a year makes: A year-end letter from our Executive Directors

What a difference a year makes: A year-end letter from our Executive Directors

From the deck of a sailboat or the cockpit of a kayak, from a beach walk or the top deck of the cruise boat, when you look out at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore you are looking into deep time. The sandstone of the cliffs can date back 700 million years. The lakebed itself was scooped out by glaciers that retreated perhaps 12,000 years ago. Even a single drop of water can take a century to work its way out of the lake basin. Against such a timescale, what can a single year mean?For Friends of the Apostle Islands, 2022 meant a record number of new members and supporters, volunteers...

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...