PSAR Training Event

Join the Preventative Search and Rescue Volunteers and Park Staff to learn about new park initiatives. 

The Park (Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) will be holding an event in Glen Haven near the Cannery this coming Saturday, July 31 from 11-2 pm. 
The Park service will be showcasing their emergency equipment, including a UTV (all-terrain vehicle used for rescues), Coyote inflatable boat, and the newest addition, EMILY. 

EMILY (pictured) is a water-borne drone that is used to provide emergency floatation for someone who has either floated too far from shore or has been taken out by a riptide. There will be demonstrations of EMILY and some guests may be able to actually operate it. The purpose of this training is for the Glen Lake Fire Department, NPS, and PSAR to be able to train with this new asset.

The NPS Mobile Visitor Center will also be there to talk about the Great Lakes ecosystem and will have a  display of a water safety video.
Since the PSAR program was started in 2016, the number of actual Search and Rescue has dropped from 31 to only 9 last year.  The number of safety and medical-related calls has dropped from 56 to 9 last year.  These drop-in calls for service have saved area first responders hundreds of hours.  A fact not measured in these statistics is that tens of thousands of people have had a safer and more memorable experience at Sleeping Bear.  
To learn more about the Preventative Search and Rescue program and apply to volunteer, visit our PSAR program page


A link is to an article published last fall on the success of the PSAR program can be found on the Leelanau Ticker:

Book Signing Event August 8th

Join us and meet other Picture-Perfect writers and photographers at the Cottage Book Shop in Glen Arbor, August 8th, from 12-2 pm. 

Picture-Perfect Sleeping Bear is a collection of stories and photos showcasing the history and memories of time spent in the Sleeping Bear area.  The book was created by Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes. It can also be purchased directly at

Annual Meeting

Join us on August 29th , 2021 at the Empire Town Hall for our annual Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes Annual Meeting! 

Date: Sunday, August 29, 2021 
Time:  3:00 pm till approximately 4:00 or 5:00 p
Site:  Empire Township Hall in Empire (10088 West Front Street, Empire, MI)
Food: Ice cream refreshments donated by Cherry Republic.
Agenda: TBD but will include; Chairman’s statement and introductions, program summaries, financial summary, Park information, election of new members to Board of Directors, and Friends business
Book and Merchandise:  The new book, “Picture Perfect Sleeping Bear Dunes” will be offered for sale and park anniversary logo items will be displayed

Friends Participate in Panel on Power of Parks for Health Roundtable

Friends Laurie Pope, Co-chair of the Accessibility Committee, and Jeanne Esch, Trach Chair Program Volunteer will be participating in a National Park Service Roundtable with the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) on Thursday, July 22 6:30-8:00 pm EDT.

The panel will discuss present and historical barriers to outdoor access and examine an accessibility project from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, to highlight strategies and opportunities to improve access to all types of parks and public lands for the Disability community.

Register for the event here:

July 4th on the Lakeshore

Catch us at the 4th of July Parade in Glen Arbor. 

The National Lakeshore and the Friends will be walking in the Glen Arbor 4th of July parade. 
The Friends will be walking and carrying our banner, wearing your orange vests and possibly some new 50th Anniversary Logo Wear. We will also be driving the Trackchair along the way. We will have some small goodies we are giving away too.

If you’d like to participate please send an email for the details.


Fourth of July 

Enjoying the 4th of July in Northern Michigan is a tradition for many.  Please keep in mind fireworks, firecrackers or any other pyrotechnic items are not allowed in Sleeping Bear Dunes.  Law Enforcement rangers can write tickets for setting off fireworks. Fireworks can spark wildfires, disrupt other visitors and wildlife and they leave trash behind plus the loud noises disrupt the wildlife. 


Picture Perfect Sleeping Bear Book Release Party

The Book YOU helped Create is here! Picture-Perfect Sleeping Bear contains a delightful collection of photographs and stories submitted by locals and visitors to the Sleeping Bear Dunes Area.

Pre-order Picture-Perfect Sleeping Bear today and you can select the option to pick up your pre-paid copy at the book signing party at Cherry Republic, Glen Arbor, July 11th, 2-4 pm.

Look for the Friends of Sleeping Bear tent outside between the retail store and winery. Order books online for a speedy pick-up at the event. It’s a great opportunity to have many photo and story contributors sign your books! Books can also be purchased on the day of the event.

You’ll have a chance to chat with some of the writers and photographers whose stories and photos are published in the book. To find out more, go to

Pre-ordering is now available. Learn more on the Book Page!

Adopt-A-River clean-up events 2021

We’ve scheduled our first Adopt-a-River cleanups this year for the Crystal River and Lower Platte rivers in June.
We’ll start with a very brief welcome/orientation followed by the cleanup at the kayak launch site and then the river. We’ll have “grabbers” and volunteer vests for your use and kayaks will be provided.

Please bring a mask, which is required for transportation to the launch site/from the endpoint. It is also recommended that you have coverings for your feet, as you never know what’s under the water should you tip over.
A light lunch will be provided following the cleanup

If you would like to participate, send an email to 
Crystal River 
Date: Thursday, June 10th 
Time: 9:00 A.M.
Location: Meet at Crystal River Outfitters, 6249 River Rd in Glen Arbor.
Lower Platte 
Date: Thursday, July 15th 
Time: 9:00 A.M.
Location: Meet at the Park Launch Site at the corner of Lake Michigan Rd. and M-22. 
The event will end at Lake Township Park.
The Riverside Canoe Livery and National Park will help with transport needs.

2021 Volunteer Training

The Annual Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes training happened on June 5th, 2 pm.  

The training includes a general orientation that is applicable for all volunteers, both experienced and new. This training is a once-a-year chance for volunteers to hear the latest park news from park staff. It will include updates from the park superintendent, park rangers, and the park volunteer coordinator. COVID protocols in the park will be an important part of this general training. 

The Training Session is now available on Youtube

Feel free to email any further questions to the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes Training Team

Exploring Sleeping Bear

Announcing a new release to accompany the Life of the Sleeping Bear Book, the Friends have created Exploring Sleeping Bear: An Educational Guide for Use with The Life of the Sleeping Bear. 

This NEW 24 page booklet includes grade level suggestions, educational standards, recommended websites and hands-on activities to help guide exploration through 11 themed units including Glaciers and the Lakes, The First People, Dark Skies, Boats of the Manitou Passage, and Black Bears. If you are looking for ways to jump start a successful year of learning with educational activities that are fun for the whole family that you can implement from your own home and neighborhood  – get your copy of the Life of the Sleeping Bear and Booklet.

Purchase the book and booklet together on the Life of the Sleeping Bear website for $33.90, plus shipping and handling. 



2020 Annual Meeting

We hope to see you DIGITAL for this year’s Annual Meeting on August 26 at 7:00 PM.

This year the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes Annual Meeting will convene on Wednesday, August 26 at 7 PM. The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom, one can access the meeting via the web, call-in, or Zoom app. The meeting will be recorded for those not able to attend online.

Email for a link to the video file.

All members of the Friends are encouraged to participate live online
Membership: Anyone who has donated time or money to the Friends in our current or previous fiscal year (Oct-Sept) is a member.


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