The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes closed another year of service in October and accomplished a lot of projects supporting the park with more support than ever. This year, the Friends welcomed 316 new volunteers and committed over 11,425 volunteer hours. This year, we saw a record amount of volunteers support the Adopt-a-Trail, Adopt-a-Beach, and Adopt-a-River programs. We also had new volunteers on the PSAR crew connecting with over 30,000 visitors keeping visitors safe and leading to record-low emergency calls. The team also supported community events, including the Dune Safety Day and Glen Arbor Fire Department Open House.
In terms of supporting Priority Park Projects, the Friends procured funding for emergency services training, water quality testing equipment, AEDs, interpretive sign updates, snowmobile trailer, and tools and supplies for general park improvements.
The Grants Team had a banner year securing specific funding for multiple programs. Two grants went to the Park’s Piping Plover Conservation Projects as well as funding to support natural resource preservation and outdoor education. Major donors included the National Park Foundation, the Andrew R. and Janet F. Miller Foundation, the Top Family Foundation, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
We would also like to thank Oryana Community Co-Op for selecting the Friends for their Groceries for Good program where a portion of their proceeds were donated to the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes.
Some of the Goals for next year include supporting new trail development and expansion of the SBHT, a tandem accessible bike for the Accessibility Program. as well as a Dark Sky Certification for the Lakeshore. If you would like to donate to support our 2024 priority projects, view our Donate Page and mention the project you would like your donation to support in the