Friends Groups Help National Parks In Many, Many Ways, Even Providing the TP In Some

Providing toilet paper is just one of the things the Friends of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore does for the park.

Across the country there are dozens of "friends groups" that help national parks in myriad ways. Just recently the Yellowstone Park Foundation announced a drive to buy bear-proof lockers for front-country campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park. At Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, the friends group actually provides the TP!

Now, buying the TP isn't the only function the Friends of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore serves for this Lake Superior archipelago. Far from it. Here's a brief rundown of what else this group does for the lakeshore:

- 2005 -

Around the Archipelago Lecture Series
Meyers Beach Ranger
Park Newspaper Printing
Hadland Fish Camp Painting
Sponsor of Gaylord Nelson Wilderness Celebration
Lake Superior Pathfinders

- 2006 -

Support of Volunteer Program
Re-roof Hadland Fish Camp
Replace/install Wayside Exhibits On Islands and Mainland
Around the Archipelago Lecture Series
Meyers Beach Ranger & SCA Intern
Park Newspaper Printing
Lake Superior Pathfinders

-2007-

Furnishings & Exhibits for Raspberry Island Light
Park Ranger at Meyers Beach
"Around the Archipelago" Lecture Series
Park Newspaper Printing
Gaylord Nelson Memorial Garden
Vertical rub rails for Rocky Island dock Extended hours at Bayfield Visitor Center
Brochures priority natural resource issues
Pathfinders environmental project
Volunteer work projects on Stockton Island, Little Sand Bay, and Raspberry Island

-2008-

Fund reopening of the Manitou Island Fish Camp
Publish National Lakeshore Newsletter
Fund "Around the Archipelago" Lecture Series
Purchase two benches to be placed near the Presque Isle Dock
Match funding the development of a "real-time wave climate observation system" for the sea caves near the Meyers Beach landing
Match directed gifts for bear boxes

How valuable is this sort of assistance in these days of tight Park Service budgets? Superintendent Bob Krumenaker says it's invaluable.

"Apostle Islands is a park that isn't as well known as Yellowstone, and has relatively few visitors. That makes our friends group even more important, and valuable," says Superintendent Krumenaker. "While raising funds and assisting on park projects is really helpful, probably the most important thing they do is help connect people to the park."