e-newsletters

May 2021 Newsletter

Each day gets us closer to summer! That is what we keep telling ourselves as we grin and bear these last cold days of spring. We are all looking forward to a great summer full of biking on the heritage trail, repairing beach steps, volunteering, and much more. There is a lot to accomplish in these spring months to prepare us for another successful summer season.  Check out our downloadable wildflower database (small donation requested), mark your calendars for our virtual volunteer training, and learn more about our new Picture Perfect Sleeping Bear photo book. 

5 Signs Spring has Sprung Around our National Lakeshore

  1. Spring Peepers – Wetlands thaw and release choruses of spring peepers, soon joined by red-winged blackbirds trilling from budding bushes. 
  2. Ruffed Grouse sounds – Male ruffed grouse stand atop old logs and drum their wings to establish territory and attract a mate. Hear the sound here
  3. Fawns – White-Tailed deer babies or fawns are odorless when they are born so predators can’t detect where they are.  The mother will leave the fawn for a few days right after birth so as not to rub any of her scent off on the fawn while it gains strength.
  4. Sandhill Cranes – return to forage in open fields or soar overheard on outstretched wings with their long legs trailing behind. Their distinct guttural calls carry a long way in the spring air.
  5. Trillium – This beautiful flower blooms and covers the forest floor with a blanket of white before the trees leaf out above. Did you know we have an entire wildflower database on our website!

Are you planning to search for those golden hidden treasures we call morel mushrooms?

A few reminders about collecting morels in the National Lakeshore. Check out our blog for further information and the National Park’s regulations for foraging. Happy hunting!

  • Gathering must be by hand and no more than one gallon at a time.
  • Must be for personal use or consumption (non-commercial use only).
  • Clean footwear and gear before and after an excursion to reduce the spread of invasive species.
  • Learn how to identify target species and those that may be similar as look-alikes may be poisonous. Do not consume unless certain of the identification.
  • As ramps are also out at the same time as morels, however, please note that collection of ramps or wild leeks is NOT permitted and also kills the plant.

All Friends are encouraged to attend the Annual Friends training session on June 5th. The training will be offered on Zoom again this year. From 2-3 pm,
Friends information will be provided by Chairperson, Jerry Peterson; followed by Park updates from Superintendent Scott Tucker. Important safety and updated COVID protocols will be presented by Park Law Enforcement Ranger, Andy Blake, and Park Volunteer Coordinator, Matt Mohrman.
Following the
one-hour general training session, there will be short breakout sessions for some of the individual volunteer groups. This is a chance to get your questions answered by experts in the field. The Zoom link will be announced when we are closer to the date of the training. The 2 pm general training session will be recorded and available for anyone unable to attend this once-a-year training event.

We just received approval from the Park to install three bike repair stations on the Heritage Trail. The Park has already installed one at DH Day Campground.

We plan to install the stations at the following locations:

  • Glen Haven – near the Garage
  • Dune Climb – near the bike racks and Donor Plaza
  • Voice Road / Bar Lake Road Trailhead – across the trail from the trailhead kiosk

These locations are very popular starting points for many trail users. Having repair stations where trail users are just getting their bikes ready to go on the trail will make it possible for them to make minor repairs or adjustments before they get on the trail. Each station costs about $1,540. Please consider donating toward one today, or buy a whole station! Just indicate the donation is for Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail and add a comment saying “For bike repair stations.”

Picture-Perfect Sleeping Bear set to Arrive in June! Until then, you can look forward to a book pre-sale starting sometime in May. Those whose photos were chosen for the book will be notified in a few weeks when the page layouts are finalized. 

Picture-Perfect Sleeping Bear features the beauty of Sleeping Bear country, which has enchanted people for centuries. It highlights the fun-filled activities that bring people to visit here by the millions. It shows the area as it was when settlers came here to lumber and to farm. And, it explores how Sleeping Bear has been preserved and protected since the National Lakeshore was established 50 years ago.

Hundreds of pictures tell the stories. People were asked to send in their best photos and fondest memories. The stunning response provides visible testimony to the love that people have for this place. The result is an album of shared memories celebrating Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Our Track Chair Program plans to return to the trails July! We are currently working on updating our reservation system, and plan on opening up online reservations in June. We are also looking for any volunteers that would be interested in becoming part of this exciting and very rewarding program.

We need volunteers to accompany visitors using the track chair and others that might be interested in helping with the reservations and coordination of the program. Please check our website trackchair.org for updates as they become available.

Searching for Petoskey stones may as well be Michigan’s favorite pastime. These beautiful prehistoric coral have been found all over the state, even on forest floors. They are the official state stone and very abundant along Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. But pursuant to the Code of Federal Regulations Title 36 – 2.1 , they must remain in the Park. It is illegal to take any natural thing from a National Park. Learn more about Leave No Trace Principals on our website.

 

 

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April 2021 Newsletter

We are so grateful this April 2021 newsletter is going to be all about our National Lakeshore and not the pandemic unlike a year ago. As we reflect on this last year, we welcomed a record number of visitors to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, were able to safely have our volunteers help keep the Heritage Trail free of debri and groom our favorite ski trails when the snow came and are looking forward to another great summer full of volunteers and visitors. 

Read more updates from Park Superintendent Scott Tucker in The Leelanau Ticker Article.

The Friends are excited to announce plans for a Spring/Summer 50th Anniversary Merchandise with the Park’s new commemorative logo! There are so many great items to have the logo on, we need your help deciding! Head to our quiz to answer three easy questions about what you would like to see!

Stay tuned to our social media or our monthly newsletter to keep up to date on the launch of the next sale.

 The reservation period is now open for free, virtual educational programming from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore). Those wishing to sign up for a virtual program or request classroom lessons can email the Education Team at slbe_education@nps.gov. Teachers can also visit the NPS website for more information. 

All programs have a ranger-facilitated hands-on activity that can be done at home or in the classroom. Programs are roughly 45 minutes in length with time included for student questions. Audio descriptions are incorporated into the programming and live captioning is available to support students with different learning needs.

Bears are out, birds are returning, and it’s time for our annual Spring Training. Please save the date for the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes Annual Spring training on June 5th. Whether you are a new Friends volunteer or a returning veteran, there will be plenty of news including up-to-date COVID restrictions, Park news from Superintendent Scott Tucker, and information from other key Park staff including Rangers, Interpretation, and Natural Resources. This is also your chance to get questions answered by the Park experts. This year’s training will be conducted through Zoom again this year.
Zoom link will be provided closer to the event date here: www.friendsofsleepingbear.org/2021-volunteer-training

 

We are looking for a person with information technology skills.  This person would be responsible for the identification and implementation of appropriate software and/or hardware solutions for various organizational needs. Responsible for software/ hardware installation and development of maintenance plans. They would ensure access to documents to appropriate staff and conduct training as needed. This is a volunteer position as are all positions within the Friends.

IT Systems Manager: Experience in or proficiency with the following would be helpful, but is not required: Word Press, MS Office, Google Drive and G-Suite, DonorSnap and QuickBooks

Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes will provide training and assistance as needed. Interested in helping out?  For more information, please email wstott3193@gmail.com

The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, all-volunteer organization.

We are happy to announce that we plan on restarting the Track Chair Program in July.  We are currently working on updating our reservation system, and plan on opening up online reservations in June. 


We are also looking for any volunteers that would be interested in becoming part of this exciting and very rewarding program.  We need volunteers to accompany visitors using the track chair and others that might be interested in helping with the reservations and coordination of the program. Apply to be a volunteer today!


Please check our website
trackchair.org for updates as they become available.

Photographer Susan Tusa, who has been featured in the Sleeping Bear Gallery, was featured in a The Washington Post Travel article showcasing her beautiful photos of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Well worth a look and read through. A beautiful reminder of how fortunate we are to have these wild places preserved for all to see and enjoy.  Ever heard the saying “there are two seasons, winter and road construction.”  Two roads are slated to have much-needed work and improvements. County Road 610 (Esch Road) and County Road 669 (South Bohemian Road) will be redone this summer. Both roads are desperately in need of full reconstruction so beachgoers can safely access their favorite beaches.  For more information click on this article from the Leelanau Ticker. We will keep our website and facebook pages updated with official start and end dates as both of these projects get underway.

 

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March 2021 Newsletter

Happy March! This is the month we can see anything from a peek of spring or feel like we are still in the throes of winter with cold temps and more snowstorms! Whatever the weather throws at us, the National Lakeshore has an activity to keep us outside and enjoying nature. Keep updated on our trail conditions here or grab your sunglasses and take a hike on the many great beaches. March keeps us on our toes, but the promise of spring is around the corner. Take a look at the following newsletter to find out ways to volunteer as well as a potential new trail system.

Connecting the Leelanau Trail and the Heritage Trail Survey

Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails (TART) and the University of Michigan are partnering on a project to explore expanding non-motorized (biking, running, etc.) trails in Leelanau County. Specifically, how to connect two popular trails, the Leelanau Trail, and the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. Connecting these two trails would provide an opportunity for people to travel between the two unique trails without having to drive or travel on roads without dedicated space. They want to hear from you to help determine the best way to connect these two trails. To fill out a brief survey please visit the project page (tinyurl.com/connecttrails). The survey will close at 11:59pm on Friday March 12th. Additional information about the project and contact information for the project lead is also on the webpage.

The mix of extreme temperatures creates an almost unworldly landscape on the beaches. These formations are fun to go exploring, but please use caution.  Formations like “ice volcanoes” created by freezing waves along Lake Michigan beaches can be beautiful but extremely dangerous. Holes and cracks in the ice quickly become hidden by blowing sand or snow. Recreate responsibly by taking in the experience from the safety of the Lakeshore. Learn more on the Park’s Website

As the lakeshore begins to experience thawing, it is a great to walk the beaches and pick up trash that winter storms have brought or uncovered. It is also a great time to start planning your volunteer activities for the upcoming spring and summer. Keep an eye out for volunteer training on our website and facebook page.

Sleeping Bear Dunes staff began surveying Hemlocks in January when they were made aware that the insect was found at Ludington State Park last fall. So far one Hemlock in the Platte River campground has been identified with Woolly Adelgids. This invasive insect is not native to Michigan and can weaken needles, branches, slows tree growth by sucking sap from the tree. Eventually, without treatment the Woolly Adelgids can kill the tree within four – ten years. Infestations can be reported to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at MDA-Info@Michigan.gov or 800-292-3939. Read more in the Ticker article.

Photo submission period for Picture Perfect Sleeping Bear now Closed.
Thank you to everyone who submitted photos for consideration for the Friends Picture Perfect Sleeping Bear Book. Over 1,1000 awesome photos were uploaded during the submission period. If your photo is selected for inclusion in the book, we plan to notify you by email around  May 1st. The book will be available for purchase this summer.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has been called “The most beautiful place in America” and it needs your help. Our 600+ member organization helps ensure that the more than a million people who visit the dunes each year have a great experience while helping to protect this precious resource.  

We are looking for a person with information technology skills.  This person would be responsible for the identification and implementation of appropriate software and/or hardware solutions for various organizational needs.  Responsible for software/ hardware installation and development of maintenance plans.  They would ensure access of documents to appropriate staff and conduct training as needed.   

Experience in or proficiency with the following would be helpful but is not required: Word Press, MS Office, Google Drive, and G-Suite, DonorSnap and QuickBooks

Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes will provide training and assistance as needed.  A position description is can be found here: https://friendsofsleepingbear.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/IT-Systems-Manager-20210227.pdf

. Interested in helping out?  For more information please email wieberd2@gmail.com

We Love Our Heritage Trail: Remember To Take Some Time For Yourself at the Lakeshore.

We hope you can take some time to visit us this month and will plan a trip to the Lakeshore.

Make sure to keep updated about the winter trail conditions before you go – bookmark our updated Trail Conditions page: https://friendsofsleepingbear.org/…/winter-trail-report/

 

 

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February 2021 Newsletter

As we steadily make our way through winter 2021,  the trails and forests are slowly becoming snowcovered and the smaller inland lakes are freezing.  It is starting to look and feel more like the middle of winter within the Park. As soon as Christmas festivities come to a close, some start to look towards Valentine’s Day.  This special day encourages us to think about those we love, but we are thinking about WHAT we love as well… and we love our National Lakeshore and all our volunteers. Even though we find ourselves in the midst of the winter months, we still are out enjoying everything the Park has to offer.  One of our favorite winter activities is paddling the peaceful rivers like the Crystal River shown above.  Winter offers us a different perspective with the riverbanks full of snow covered trees. We hope you all will make some time for yourself this month to appreciate what you love.

We Love Sharing Memories: We Invite You To Share Yours too! “Picture-Perfect Sleeping Bear: An Album of Shared Memories Celebrating the National Lakeshore”

Would you like to have your best Sleeping Bear Dunes area photos considered for a new book? The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes is creating a crowdsourced book chronicling the history of our Park area through photos and text in celebration of the Park’s 50th Anniversary. 

We have traveled here, sometimes for generations, and created memories of family vacations, weddings, canoe trips, campfires, and hikes. Some of us had family homes and farms that are now part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. What is your story?

The owners of photos selected for the book will get:

  • A caption accompanying the photo in the book listing the photograph owner’s name and his or her description of the photo.
  • An invitation to a kickoff event upon the book’s release when gatherings are approved; selected photos will be part of an event slide show.
  • Knowledge that they are supporting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park projects.

Visit our Picture Perfect Sleeping Bear Page to find out how to submit electronic or hardcopy photos. Although electronic submissions are preferred, if you mail us your historical, family photos or slides, we will mail your original copies back to you. Deadline for consideration is March 1, 2021. For more information about the book project, email: friendsbook2021@gmail.com.

We Love Our Historic Inns: BEAR Set to Give New Life to Sleeping Bear Inn in Glen Haven.

Maggie Kato and Jeff Kato of BEAR (Balancing Environment and Rehabilitation) were issued a letter of intent from the National Park Service to lease the historic Sleeping Bear Inn and Garage in Glen Haven. The nonprofit will begin rehabilitating the inn starting spring of 2021, it will function as a Bed and Breakfast as well as a lunch spot for visitors. Read more about this exciting project at the Leelanau Ticker

We Love Our 2020 Volunteers: Hours Converted to Dollars!

A fun fact we wanted to share with you all… volunteer time in the National Lakeshore was recorded as an extraordinary 14,000 hours in 2020.  That is an impressive amount of volunteer time! What would that look like if we put that into dollars? It represents a dollar value of a whopping $361,060.00!  That would be a lot of cash!  Thanks again to all our hardworking volunteers.  Your hours really do add up! If you would like to join us as a volunteer please visit our Volunteer Page.

 

We Love Our Heritage Trail: Remember To Take Some Time For Yourself at the Lakeshore.

This time of the winter it is hard to think about warmer weather and Piping Plover, but our nesting pairs are starting to show up in Florida, their winter residence. Reports of piping plovers from Sleeping Bear Dunes have come in, including from Bunche Beach, Big Marco Pass, and Anclote Key, Florida, as well as Kiawah Island in South Carolina. It is good to see plovers surviving down south! Learn more about Piping Plover on the NPS website,  and follow Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Effort on Facebook to get real-time updates on what birds have been sited where. 

We Love Our Heritage Trail: Remember To Take Some Time For Yourself at the Lakeshore.

We hope you can take some time to visit us this month and will plan a trip to the Lakeshore.

Make sure to keep updated about the winter trail conditions before you go – bookmark our updated Trail Conditions page: https://friendsofsleepingbear.org/…/winter-trail-report/

 

 

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January Newsletter

Happy New Year from all of us at Friends! Many of us are grateful to have 2020 behind us, but 2020 set many records. July 2020 had a record number of visitors 592,000. Overall, 1,697,940 visitors were counted through the end of November 2020, breaking the 2016 record of 1,683,553 visitors which coincided with the National Park Service’s centennial anniversary.  We appreciated the ability to enjoy these wide open spaces, beaches, trails and forests even during this difficult time and look forward to seeing you all in 2021.


A big thanks to everyone who purchased 50th anniversary logo wear! We had 1,112 orders totaling 2,519 shirts! We look forward to seeing the swag around the National Lakeshore, the country, and maybe even the world. Pictured to the Left is the Myer family, Ron, Celia, and their daughters Liberty and Lincoln took their new Bear Logo Shirts climbing Sharp Top Mountain in their home state of Virginia.  The last shipment went out Dec. 30th and those who ordered should have received a shipping tracking number from Pogo – shipping is expected to take up to 20 days. Email Pogo with questions.

 

 

Can’t Make It To the Park, Visit Virtually

If you have already headed south for the winter or if the winter temps keep you indoors we have an app to cure those Sleeping Bear blues.  Did you know Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has a mobile app? You can visit the park virtually through their mobile app, youtube channel, or virtual museum. There are many ways to stay connected to your favorite National Lakeshore this winter.

 

 

Prehistoric remains were found in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Read more about these findings in this Mlive article. The remains were found back in 2017 by a visitor walking the beach at an undisclosed location. After the remains were finally turned in to park rangers, forensic analysis showed they were most likely of a Native American person and prehistoric in age. The Lakeshore is consulting with Indian Tribes to return the remains to the appropriate group(s).

 

 

Winter on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is special and can be enjoyed by all who enjoy a variety of winter activities. Friends volunteers groom the trail whenever the lakeshore receives fresh snow and temperatures are expected to stay below freezing. To sign up for email updates about the trail grooming subscribe to our special e-newsletter by filling out this form.

New Trail report page: https://friendsofsleepingbear.org/sleeping-bear-heritage-trail/winter-trail-report/

 

You can view a recording of the 2020 Annual Membership Meeting and/or sign up for our monthly meeting notifications. Signing up will give you the Zoom access information so you can participate remotely.
Email us at secretary@friendsofsleepingbear.org

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December Newsletter

The end of November brought us the first official snowfall of the season and we are hoping for much, much more.  Our trail groomers are up and ready to roll (literally) to prepare our trails for cross country and skate skiing.  As December often is a time for giving we encourage you to think about supporting the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes. Your support helps the Friends maintain park trails, support National Park programs, and work on the development of new trails. A special thank you to everyone who purchased 50th Anniversary logo wear gear! 

All of us at Friends are wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season and thank you for making 2020 a memorable year!  

With the holidays fast approaching many of us often look for unique ways to give. Consider making a donation to Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes for a family member. Last year the Johnson family from St. Louis, MO made donations to each of their family member’s favorite parts of the lakeshore. A donation was made to the Sleeping Bear Heritage trail for a brother who loves to run and walk, another was made to the proposed Mountain Bike Trail for a sister who loves mountain biking. 

The Life of the Sleeping Bear is another great gift to give, all profits go to supporting the National Lakeshore. 
Reminisce over photos of a Lake Michigan sunset, a night sky, or a view of the Manitou Islands. Learn more about the geography, First People, and others who shaped the area into what it is today. The Life of the Sleeping Bear will remind you and your gift recipient of this beautiful place that is waiting for your return. Buy it today!  

We currently have three SBHT Kiosk signs available to be dedicated to anyone who donates $500 or more to the Friends and designates their donation for the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.

What about dedicating a bench or a bike Rack to a loved one? Your dedication will be placed along the trail as well as a plaque will be added to the Donor Recognition Area in the Visitor Center.

 

Thank you for helping us have a successful fundraising event!

The Park granted us use of the Bear Logo for Fundraising efforts and our sale was incredibly successful – we have extended the sale twice!

If you have any questions about an order, please email pogo@undergroundshirts.org or logo@friendsofsleepingbear.org for any questions about the fundraiser. 

 

 

It’s that time of year where we thank our most valuable members, YOU. The annual newsletter highlights the past year of programming success and shares some exciting news about upcoming projects. Find a copy of the newsletter here if you can’t wait for the mailman to deliver your copy. 

You can also view a PDF version of the Annual Newsletter here. 

 

 

Empire Bluffs trail made a HUGE splash as the front page of the December 2020 issue of National Geographic taken by photographer Keith Ladzinski. The article takes a deep look at the issues affecting the great lakes and the people those issues impact plus, exploring how those issues facing the great lakes tell a story about what could happen to lakes around the world.

 

 

 

Ever wander down a beach access road or see some old building footings in the forest and wonder what used to be there? Kim Kelderhouse, Executive Director of Leelanau Historical Society Museum, and her team put together a fascinating article found in the Leelanau Ticker. It details many of our favorite beaches on National Lakeshore. Read the article on the Leelanau Ticker website.

 Interested in learning more about “ghost towns” and other histories around the lakeshore, look to our website for a listing of all our available booklets.

SBHT Ski Trail

Flurries have been spotted along the Lakeshore indicating winter is approaching quickly. If you are a cross-country skier or enjoy snowshoeing, make sure you are in the know when we get enough snow to groom the trails.

Sign up using the Newsletter Form, below, for once-a-week updates on the trail conditions from our grooming crew. Learn more about winter trails on our site.

 

 

You can view a recording of the 2020 Annual Membership Meeting and/or sign up for our monthly meeting notifications. Signing up will give you the Zoom access information so you can participate remotely.
Email us at secretary@friendsofsleepingbear.org

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November Newsletter

Seems like just yesterday we were jumping in the waves and enjoying summer, although these days are still a bit far from normal, we are eternally grateful for our National Lakeshore and the sense of peace and calm it brings to everyone who steps on its sandy beaches or wooded trails. November is a time to give thanks and celebrate the abundance of all nature offers us. We have much appreciation for all our volunteers and our National Lakeshore partner, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. 

 

A big thank you to the YouthWork crew and NPS who rerouted the trail down to the bog at Kettle Trails, built a wooden retaining wall and earthen observation platform, and are planning to build a railing.
They have also put a rustic log bench at the platform and eventually an interpretive wayside will be installed.

Learn more about the Kettles Trail and how to enjoy this unique un-spoiled feature and check out the Kettle trail map before you go to explore. 

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore by sporting a shirt or sweatshirt with the NEW 50th anniversary Park logo.
Just in time for holiday shopping,
the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes is offering a limited-time sale of official 50th anniversary merchandise. Give the gift that reminds your friends and family of warm summer evenings around a campfire and hikes in the Dunes. There are 5 different adult and 4 children’s clothing items available.

Order by November 8th though our sales site and items will ship by November 20th, in plenty of time for your holiday gift giving.

Congratulations Carol and George 2020 Jim Mudgett Trail Pioneer Award Recipients!

This fall Carol and George Quarderer received the prestigious Jim Mudgett Trail Pioneer Award, awarded yearly by TART Trails to individuals who give their time, talents and treasure to ensuring our region has beautiful trails, bikeways and pedestrian ways. The Quarderers have been a huge part of the success of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail since 2001 and Carol is co-chair to raise funds for the development of the SBHT extension.

 

During the National Lakeshore’s 50th anniversary celebration, they revealed their Mobile Visitor Center! This beautifully wrapped van will be traveling around the great lakes region to be used at schools and elsewhere as a teaching tool and help bring a taste of our great public lands to our larger community.

The mobile visitor center gives rangers a unique opportunity to bring the lakeshore to those who have never been here before. Make sure to follow Sleeping Bear Dunes facebook page to stay up to date on events and how to see the mobile visitors center in person. 

 

The Life of the Sleeping Bear makes a wonderful holiday gift for anyone who loves the lakeshore.

This year, the Friends released a complimentary booklet, Exploring the Sleeping Bear that includes grade level suggestions and hands-on activities to help guide exploration. Get them both at: lifeofthesleepingbear.com

You can view a recording of the 2020 Annual Membership Meeting and/or sign up for our monthly meeting notifications. Signing up will give you the Zoom access information so you can participate remotely.
Email us at secretary@friendsofsleepingbear.org

SBHT Ski Trail

Winter is fast approaching as we have already seen some flurries at the Lakeshore. If you are a cross-country skier or enjoy snowshoeing, make sure you are in the know when we get enough snow to groom the trails. 

Sign up using the Newsletter Form or update your contact information below for once-a-week updates on the trail conditions from our grooming crew. 

 

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October Newsletter

The leaves are starting to turn and so is the weather. Fall around the lakeshore is breathtaking! Get out and enjoy some color hikes like the Empire Bluffs trail, the Treat Farm, Pyramid point or the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. It is a great time of year to surround yourself with the beauty of nature. Check out this article on Best Fall Hikes from the Leelanau Ticker.

Easy-to-implement lessons, designed by teachers, to enhance understanding of 11 themed topics introduced in The Life of the Sleeping Bear.
This 24 page booklet, Exploring Sleeping Bear,  includes grade level suggestions and educational standards to help guide exploration through in-depth learning in science, history, math, and language arts/reading.

If you are worried about learning loss and looking for ways to jump start a successful year of learning with educational activities for the whole family, you can preorder this booklet for $4.95 on the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes website or directly at lifeofthesleepingbear.com 
Order it with
The Life of the Sleeping Bear ($29.95) and receive both the book and Educational Guide for $33.90, plus shipping and handling.

For more information on The Life of the Sleeping Bear or Exploring Sleeping Bear: An Educational Guide for Use with The Life of the Sleeping Bear, email: book@friendsofsleepingbear.org

This is the time of year where the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore begins to see a slow dip in numbers at its campgrounds. But not this year! Labor Day has passed and our campgrounds are still as busy as ever. If you are still planning a camping trip this season we suggest checking availability before you go. Availability can be checked and reservations may be made by visiting: https://www.nps.gov/slbe/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

New Bike Repair Station (with water bottle filling unit) has been installed by the park on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. It is located next to the vault toilet in DH Day campground.

 

Bohemian (CR-669) Road Re-Opens!

The Leelanau County Road Commission recently finished construction on Bohemian Rd. (CR-669) which has been closed since June 22. The road commission removed an old culvert and built a bridge in its place to allow improved water flow in Shalda Creek.

To celebrate the Park’s 50th Anniversary, The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has granted the Friends the use of the park’s 50th Anniversary logo for fundraising efforts. 

Here is where we get excited! We have some great merchandise and goods lined up with the NEW Sleeping Bear Anniversary Logo! 

Make sure to follow us on social media or sign-up for our newsletter for the latest updates and release of the new Bear Logo merchandise soon to be announced! 

We are looking for a person with good communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills to join our high-functioning all-volunteer organization. The Fund Development Director is responsible for integrating all fundraising programs into an Annual Fund Development Plan to assure financial support for operations and programs approved by the Friend’s board and national park administration. This is accomplished by helping to direct a group of dedicated volunteers seeking donations via fundraising events, granting sources, individuals, and businesses.

A position description is available at https://friendsofsleepingbear.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Fund-Development-Director-20171023.pdf

Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes will provide training and assistance as needed. Time commitment will vary with the individual and seasons but may amount to approximately 12 hours a week. Interested in helping out?
For more information please email Bill Stot at:
wstott3193@gmail.com

You can view a recording of the 2020 Annual Membership Meeting and/or sign up for our monthly meeting notifications. Signing up will give you the Zoom access information so you can participate remotely. Email us at secretary@friendsofsleepingbear.org

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September Newsletter

September brings some of the nicest weather to Northern Michigan. The lakes are super warm and the nights are starting to cool off. The National Lakeshore has seen amazing numbers of visitors and Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes has seen tons of volunteers helping make summer 2020 a huge success! Below are some news and happenings around the park.  

The National Lakeshore had a record-setting month in July with 592,000 visitors! Deputy Superintendent of the park, Tom Ulrich, shed some light on the record-setting numbers: “Having so many beaches in the park, visitation is always affected by weather; and we had spectacular beach weather in July. Also, we imagine that a variety of activities not available to people because of the pandemic. People sought out a visit to the National Lakeshore for some much-needed outdoor recreation.”
In general, the lakeshore has seen huge visitation numbers in 2020 and is on track to be another record-breaking year. 

 

 

 

Park Update: The CR-669 Culvert project at Shalda Creek.
The completion date has been revised and is scheduled to be completed by September 4th instead of August 28th.

In July alone we saw almost 2000 volunteer hours, WOW!
Thank you to all our volunteers. We truly appreciate all you do to help Sleeping Bear.
We reached out to one of our first-time volunteers, Jesse Lewit from Suttons Bay, to tell us why he decided to volunteer. “I have great memories of coming here as a child, and my two sons now have the same. I want to help create those same great memories for the next generation.
Plus, as part of PSAR, I get an office with the best view in the world.”  If you are interested in volunteering you can find more information on our website https://friendsofsleepingbear.org/volunteer/

Need activities for your kids? Love learning about the National Lakeshore?
Grab one of our books today “The Life of Sleeping Bear”. 


Are you a teacher? Or do you know a teacher? Sleeping Bear Dunes offers free virtual distance learning programs. Programs are aligned with state and national learning standards, are FUN, and new lessons have been added for this school year. Check out the Parks Distance Learning webpage for more info and registration details. They look forward to seeing you in the virtual classroom! 

 

We are looking for a person with good communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills to join our high-functioning all-volunteer organization. The Fund Development Director is responsible for integrating all fundraising programs into an Annual Fund Development Plan to assure financial support for operations and programs approved by the Friend’s board and national park administration. This is accomplished by helping to direct a group of dedicated volunteers seeking donations via fundraising events, granting sources, individuals, and businesses.

A position description is available at https://friendsofsleepingbear.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Fund-Development-Director-20171023.pdf

Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes will provide training and assistance as needed. Time commitment will vary with the individual and seasons but may amount to approximately 12 hours a week. Interested in helping out?
For more information please email Bill Stot at:
wstott3193@gmail.com

You can view a recording of the 2020 Annual Membership Meeting and/or sign up for our monthly meeting notifications. Signing up will give you the Zoom access information so you can participate remotely. Email us at secretary@friendsofsleepingbear.org

 

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August Newsletter

Summer is flying by much like the NEOWISE Comet (pictured above). The comet was discovered just a few months ago and was easily seen just after sunset from the lakeshore over the last few weeks. Below are some updates from the park and a call for volunteers.  We hope you all are enjoying your summer and are staying safe around the national lakeshore.  

We hope to see you DIGITAL for this year’s Annual meeting on August 26 at 7:00 PM.
Stay Tuned for more details and a link to join in! 

 

On July 23rd the U.S. House passed the Great American Outdoors Act, which will invest $9.5 billion into national park and public lands repairs and protect and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Great American Outdoors Act will provide the biggest investment in parks and public lands in more than 65 years by addressing critical repair needs within the National Park Service (NPS) and other public land agencies.

Learn More about the Great American Outdoors Act. 

 

 

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore resumed the collection of entrance fees Saturday, July 25, 2020. The $25.00 park entrance pass allows everyone in a private vehicle to recreate in the National Lakeshore for seven days.

Passes may be obtained at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire, MI, daily from 9:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m., and at the Platte River and D. H. Day Campground offices, daily from 9:00 a.m. to9:00 p.m.

Park passes are also available at self-pay stations located at many of the beach road-ends, as well as local area businesses, including Manitou Island Transit (at their Fishtown gift shop), Crystal River Outfitters, Honor Trading Post, and Riverside Canoe Trips.

The Dune Climb and Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive entrance stations remain under construction and will not be able to sell passes until later in August.

 

The Park is seeking volunteers to assist with conducting its bi-annual River Use Counts on the Crystal and Platte Rivers.  Volunteers will be designated a specific spot on the river and will be responsible for counting the number of visitors who pass through the area.  All shifts last approximately five (5) to six (6) hours. If you would like to assist the park in this effort or would like more information, please contact Renee Babiarz at renee_babiarz@nps.gov or (231) 326-4762, or learn more about the event on our news post

 

Our friends at Cherry Republic have started a campaign called “Cherrish Michigan”. The Cherrish Michigan campaign supports nine local non-profits, including the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes.  Each organization has been matched with a mixed nut bag. 

For every bag purchased Cherry Republic has pledged to donate $1 of the sale back to the respective organization.
The Confiscated Nut Mix is our favorite!!

Read more about the campaign on their blog: https://cherryrepublic.com/cherrishmichigan/ and purchase a bag of confiscated nut mix today. https://cherryrepublic.com/confiscated-fruit-mix/

 

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