Volunteer Today – Open Positions with the Friends

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has been called “The most beautiful place in America” and it needs your help. Our 700+ 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.  

IT Manager:  

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.   
This is a volunteer position – the Friends is an all-volunteer organization. 

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 can be found here:

Interested in helping out?  For more information please email

Business Fund Development Manager: 

The Business Fund Development Manager introduces local and national businesses to the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes, our mission, and our projects and explores possibilities for their financial support.
In this position, the individual will evaluate the potential for local, national, and international business support for the Friends and the projects we fund (e.g., accessibility, enhancing visitor experiences, preserving the natural environment, etc.). This individual will coordinate efforts with the Fund Development Director and Grant Writing Colleagues to support fundraising campaigns. They will formalize requests, with required paperwork and documentation, for donations.
This is a volunteer position – the Friends is an all-volunteer organization. 

A position description can be found here:

Interested in helping out?  For more information please email

Other Volunteer Opportunities with the Friends: 

All Volunteer Opportunities with the Friends can be found here:
Apply to be a Volunteer with the Friends here:

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

Announcing Picture Perfect Book

Share your Park photos for 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 are accepting photos through our Submission Page by March 1, 2021.

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?

For more information – visit the Picture-Perfect Sleeping Bear Book information page. 

Friends Picture Perfect call for photos PR web version Press Release


Get your 2020 Volunteer Hours In

Tracking Volunteer Hours

This is important because it provides needed information to your Program Manager.  In addition,  hours reported by the Friends are used to calculate the dollars returned to Sleeping Bear Dunes by the National Park. More hours equals more dollars! Also, some of our grant funding is dependent on the number of volunteers and the number of volunteer hours. So, stand up and be counted!

Please submit all 2020 volunteer hours by September 30th via the links below or on DonorSnap. 

Also, Once your volunteer hours have been received by the Park, you will be able to pick up a Sleeping Bear Dunes annual Park pass. You will also accumulate hours towards a National Park pass and other National Park perks.

Current Friends Volunteers Report Volunteer Hours
Click on the appropriate link below to report your hours and comments:
Please know that you should count time from when you leave home until you return home from your volunteer task.


Seeking Fund Development Director

We are looking for a few special Friends with specific talents and good organizational skills who want to join our team of dedicated, high-functioning, and enthusiastic leaders. 

Our 600+ member organization helps to ensure that the more than 1.5 million visitors to the National Lakeshore each year have a great experience and learn how to protect this precious resource.


If you are interested in any of the positions listed below, please:
1. Email Bill Stott at 
2. State the position you are applying for
3. Include your resume or brief statement of relevant experience

Fund Development Director Position Opening 

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.

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. A position description is available at

Road Closure in the park at Bohemian Rd.

Access to Bohemian Beach is temporarily closed due to road crews replacing the drainage culvert on Bohemian Rd.
Those wanting to use the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail starting at Bohemian may still do so as there is plenty of room by the trail before the construction.
Please, as construction continues we urge people to not walk around the machines to get to the lake access. If you want/need to access that beach during the closure, it will have to be via boat or hiking from 651. 

The Closure will continue through mid-August. 

You can find all of the park’s beaches on the Lake Michigan shoreline listed with maps on our Beaches page.  

Pierce Stocking Drive will Reopen on Weekends

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has announced that they have completed a variety of projects needed to prepare the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive for visitors to safely enjoy. 
The Scenic Drive will
only be available on Saturdays and Sundays for the next several weeks as one big project is still being worked on during the week – replacement of the entrance station that sits at the base of the Scenic Drive.

The drive will be open for the first time this season on Saturday, July 11. Park Rangers will be at the drive entrance from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each weekend to answer visitor questions.

Visitors should also be aware that in order to provide for social distancing the narrow boardwalk to the Lake Michigan Overlook platform has not yet been installed. Visitors with limited mobility are encouraged to enjoy the spectacular views (and shorter paths) at the Dune and North Bar Lake Overlooks for now. 

Among the projects that were completed in June, following the return to work of field employees, were a new roof on the covered bridge, rehabilitation of the restrooms at Picnic Mountain, refurbishing railings at the overlook platforms, site preparation for the entrance station construction, and the clearing of many, many downed trees. The Lakeshore plans to open the drive seven days a week when the entrance station construction is completed sometime in August.

Park Rangers with YouthWork and Freinds volunteers on the worksite during clean-up of Pierce Stocking Drive.

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on the Lakeshore website ( and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on

July Newsletter

Summer weather has hit us full force and we are starting to see many visitors enjoying trails and beaches in the National Lakeshore.  Below you will find updates as well as happenings around the park as things begin to re-open with restrictions to help keep enjoying the park safely.


For the most up to date information and resources to plan your next visit, review all the latest news and resources here:


This year, we are asking participants to sign up ahead of class online and donate via our credit card processing as we will be cash-less this year.

You can review and learn about many flora and fauna in the Lakeshore by visiting our Wildflower Database.

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Please fill out this form to update your information or unsubscribe.

Tracking Shipwrecks

There has been some excitement recently around the Lakeshore about the appearance of the Jennie and Annie – shipwreck that was uncovered on the beach around North Bar Lake. Some Shipwrecks are not visible at all times due to water levels and the shifting sand that may cover them up completely.
If you believe you have come upon a new piece of wreckage, you can help a Michigan Underwater Archaeologist, Wayne Lasardi, collect information!
Please fill out this Beach Wreckage Documentation Form and mail it back to him at the address listed at the bottom of the page.  
Shipwrecks and related fragments ashore and in the water are owned and protected by the State of Michigan and given special status since all the park’s shores are within the Manitou Passage State Underwater Preserved. They are also protected by park under Federal law, however, the State retains ownership. If you see any shipwreck fragments, they must remain there, like all other artifacts from the National Lakeshore. 

There have been articles in the Record-Eagle on May 17th as well as in The Leelanau Ticker on May 11th and June 4th explaining how you can help marine archeologists! 
There is also a wonderful article about this project and why it is important now in the Atlas Obscura on May 21st


More information about the other shipwrecks in the area can be found on our Shipwrecks page.

If you are walking the beach, you can reference existing shipwrecks here: 

The Jeane and Annie at Lacore Rd

Shipwreck on Dune Trail North


Shipwreck on Dune Trail South: SBP#16, 2014

Shipwreck Lane Rd

Shipwreck at Sleeping Bear Point








Summer Volunteer Training

Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes Hosts Volunteer Training Sessions through Zoom.
Join the annual Friends volunteer training zoom session for registered Friends members. Presenters will include speakers from the Park Interpretive and Law Enforcement divisions as well as Chairpersons for different volunteer positions. Park staff will address questions about volunteering in the Park during COVID restrictions.
Adopt-A-Beach and Adopt-A-River Orientation: Thursday, June 4 at 2:00 pm.
Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail Ambassadors, Adopt-a-Trail, and Trail Crew Orientation, Thursday, June 4th at 4:00 pm.
Watch your email for a zoom invitation and instructions, coming soon!
Anyone who is not a current Friends member can apply by filling out the application form through the Friends website:
For more information, email Mary Peterson at 
We are still seeking a few special Friends with specific talents and good organizational skills who want to join our team: Membership Record Manager and Fund Development Director positions are currently open. 
For more information, visit our previous post:

Trails Reopen

Beginning Friday, May 22, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will begin to increase recreational access to the park and reopen access to: 

  • Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail;
  • all park hiking trails and trailheads;
  • picnic areas;
  • parking areas;
  • boat launches;
  • Dune Climb; and
  • vault toilets.

Click the links to learn more about the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail (SBHT) or visit our Trail Page to learn about all of the trails in the park or view our Hiking Trail Brochure.

The Friends have been hard at work this week in partnership with the park to get trails ready for visitors to return! 

Trail Etiquette:

  • Stay to the RIGHT, alert others when passing on their left.
  • Please give six-feet of social distance to other groups on the trail.
  • No gathering of groups larger than 10 persons or with those outside of your household.
  • DO NOT block the trail when stopped – move to the side.
  • Cyclists ride single file when other users are present.
  • Please wear a helmet for your safety.
  • Dispose of all trash and animal waste in trash receptacles.
  • Stay on the trail, respect plants and wildlife.
  • Respect Private Property – Stay on the Trail.

One of the many Friends programs creates booklets supplied to the Visitor Center for a donation. These booklets can also be downloaded from our site on our Booklets page. We encourage you to donate to our organization to continue to provide valuable maintenance and programs to the park this year. 

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