News

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 (https://www.nps.gov/slbe/index.htm) and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.


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: https://friendsofsleepingbear.org/covid-19-update/

 

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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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: https://friendsofsleepingbear.org/volunteer-registration/
 
For more information, email Mary Peterson at mlpeterso46@gmail.com 
 
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: https://friendsofsleepingbear.org/administrative-positions-open/


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. 


Life of the Sleeping Bear in the News

Life of the Sleeping Bear has proven to be a welcome addition to your home collection and a way to “visit” the Sleeping Bear Dunes from afar and through time. 

The book is a wonderful way for those of all ages to explore the natural wonders of the sand dunes that form the lakeshore. Both instructive and entertaining, the book contains vivid pictures, fascinating facts, and helpful graphics and maps to provide a rich and colorful virtual tour of one of the world’s most precious geological and environmental areas.

 

The Life of the Sleeping Bear has been featured in the Local News!

 

“Explore the Sleeping Bear Dunes from anywhere, all year long!” says, My North Media.

“The Life of the Sleeping Bear as a great book to read while stuck at home.” States The Glen Arbor Sun, as well as to help “home school the kids.

 

For a limited time, every purchase of the book will include a free matted print of this photo from James Eye View Photography.

Order your copy of The Life of the Sleeping Bear today at https://lifeofthesleepingbear.com/


Administrative Positions Open

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 wstott3193@gmail.com 
2. State the position you are applying for
3. Include your resume or brief statement of relevant experience

 

Membership Record Manager Position Opening 

We are looking for a person with good organizational and personal computer skills to join our high-functioning all-volunteer organization.

The Membership Record Manager is responsible for maintaining the Friend’s donor and membership database and providing information to the Friend’s fundraising and volunteer recruitment groups. These efforts are accomplished primarily through the use of DonorSnap, a database program utilized by many nonprofits. Training on the use of this application will be provided by the Friends.

Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes will provide training and assistance as needed. Time commitment will vary with the individual but is approximately 4-6 hours per week. A position description is available at https://friendsofsleepingbear.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Membership-Record-Manager-20200224.pdf

 

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 https://friendsofsleepingbear.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Fund-Development-Director-20171023.pdf


April 14, 2020 Park Update

Dear Friends,

We know these are uncertain times for our country and the world. But one thing has not changed: our mission to protect resources and heighten visitor experiences in partnership with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

On April 14, 2020, in response to guidance from the CDC, United States Public Health Service, and the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore announced that all trails, trailheads, picnic areas, parking areas, and boat launches are closed until further notice. As we celebrate the park’s 50th birthday this year, we cannot recall another time where closure was issued. This emphasizes the severity of the epidemic we are facing as a community.

This, we are sure, was not an easy decision. The health and safety of visitors, employees, volunteers and partners of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore continues to be their top priority.

Even though we are not able to visit the park at this time, we will be able to do so in the future.  Please join us in keeping the spirit of Sleeping Bear alive by enjoying our favorite lakeshore, virtuallyWe encourage you to connect with us via Facebook or Instagram and share your favorite park moments and photos or take a virtual journey down the Sleeping Bear Heritage trail via the virtual trail map. To get the most out of the virtual trail map, watch this instructional video on YouTube. 

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

With Gratitude,

Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes


Plovers Returning

Nature never closes, and migrations of animals and birds are one of the most remarkable things in Nature. Here on the sandy shores of the Great Lakes, we see a special little bird called the Piping Plover return every year to nest and raise their young.

Plovers were classified an endangered species in 1985 when only 12 couples were spotted in the Great Lakes region. The birds are very sensitive to humans and dogs in the area which they nest and abandon nests if they feel threatened. Through conservation and protection by park staff, volunteers, and biologists, the Plover population reached a high of 41 pairs, half of them nested on North Manitu Island.

This season will be different. This year, volunteers will not be able to be on the beaches to spot and protect plover nests until the Stay at Home Ordinance is lifted and we can safely work with park staff. 

We ask our community to take extra care when visiting the shoreline by doing the following in April: 
– If you bring your dog, they must remain on a leash and within a close distance to you. 
– Please stay away from rocky areas on the beach and bluffs as this is where the Plovers build shallow nests in the sand and line them with pebbles or broken shells.

Sharing the shorelines, protecting piping plovers at Sleeping Bear

 


COVID-19 Update

 
Updated July 9, 2020 – all Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has reopened The visitor center and limited sites at campgrounds.
You can visit select Museum sites at Glen Haven and Port Oneida with proper social distancing protocols. 
The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive will be reopened on Saturday, July 11th, and welcome visitors on
Saturdays and Sundays while the entry station continues to be worked on during weekdays. 
 
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is open and maintaining operations based on information from the CDC, state governments, and local health authorities. Check out the National Park Service website for the most up-to-date information on your national parks.
 

The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive will be open on weekends, starting July 11th but will be closed to all traffic on weekdays when the construction at the drive entrance will make it unsafe to enter. 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.
Park Rangers will be at the drive entrance from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each weekend to answer visitor questions.

The visitor center will be open daily from 9am-4pm with CDC guidelines in place including social distancing (at least 6 feet) and face coverings. The number of visitors allowed in the building will be limited. Services will be limited to visitor information, restroom use, and purchasing sales items through America’s National Parks, our cooperating association. We are requesting payment via credit or debit card.
 
Campground offices will be open daily from 9am-9pm with the same safety practices as the visitor center. Camping reservations for Platte River and D.H. Day Campgrounds will reopen via www.recreation.gov on June 23rd. The first loop (sites 1-31) and site 85 at D.H. Day Campground are currently closed through July 21st due to flooding. Extensions to these closures are possible as staff continues to monitor the water level.
Park rangers will be available at the Dune Climb under the green tent to provide information daily from 9am-4pm as well.
Follow these links below to download Sleeping Bear Dunes mobile app for both Apple and Android.
 
Our participation in National Lakeshore events will be determined by the guidance of Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore management.
 
The Park has also created a new mini-Visitors Guide with additional information you may need while visiting the park during this time. 
 
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service-wide with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the park is announcing additional modifications to operations in response to guidance from the CDC, United States Public Health Service, and the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department. For further information about park closures, visit: https://www.nps.gov/slbe/learn/news/sleeping-bear-dunes-national-lakeshore-is-modifying-operations-to-implement-latest-health-guidance.htm
 
If you see any safety concerns that may require immediate attention, please fill out the safety report on our website. 
And please, e-mail any questions to info@friendsofsleepingbear.org
 
Stay healthy, 
Friends of Sleeping Bear Executive Committee 


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