Happy October! The air is bringing colder temperatures and the smell of Fall is in the air. There are apples on the trees and the leaves are starting to make quite a colorful display around the Lakeshore. Lots of updates in this newsletter, including, our 2021 PSAR (Preventative Search and Rescue) stats, another opportunity to buy our new book Picture Perfect Sleeping Bear, Park internship openings and a great giving opportunity.
Take a Peek at our Fall Colors
October is leaf peeping month! MyNorth.com provides a great update of colors around the region. Warmer temperatures early in September lead to less leaf change, but now that we have seen some cooler temps, be on the lookout as colors will start to change quickly.
Visit our Trails page to find all the trails in the park to explore, some of our favorites in the fall are the Kettles Trail, Alligator Hill, and Platte Plains Trails. Find new areas in the park through the Educational Booklets like learning about the Lakeshore Ghost Towns!
Fall Hours at Glen Haven
The museums in the Glen Haven Historic District are open 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Starting Tuesday, October 12, the museums will be closed for the season. You still have a few weeks to experience what it was like to live and work in this company town at the turn of the 20th century, all with fewer crowds!
View an Educational Booklet and Map of the Historic Glen Haven area.
The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes (FOSBD) is looking to fund a new storage facility to be used in support of a number of programs in the National Lakeshore. We currently occupy three of the six bays of the Sleeping Bear Inn’s garage building, and will need to move the contents of those bays so the Inn can move forward with their renovations. The proposed storage facility is planned to be an addition to the existing Dune Center building at the Dune Climb, and will be approximately 1600 square feet, fully insulated, heated and will house the following:
- Heritage Trail maintenance tools and equipment
- The Park’s Mobile Visitor Center van
- The Friends’ Accessibility trailer, equipment, and track chairs
- The Friends’ books, visitor information booklets, stickers, and trail maps
The target is to raise $30,000 to complete the capital needs for the storage building addition. The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes are asking you, our members, community supporters, trail users, and Park visitors to help us make this project happen by making a generous donation this Fall.
To make a donation, visit our Donation Page and select ‘Dune Center Garage’ in the ‘Use My Donation For’ drop-down menu.
Summer 2021 Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR) Stats
As of early September, the PSAR team made 17,310 PSAR contacts and 8,243 general contacts for a total of 25,553 visitor contacts this season! Together, we put in 510 hours out on the dunes! That averages out to 50 contacts per hour. Also, we assisted 46 hikers who were in some form of distress. We ended up having ten 910) SARs and seven (7) 911 calls which is almost identical to what the Park saw in 2020 (9 SARs, 9 Calls) and 2019 (10 SARs, 8 Calls). Compare these to 2016 (31 SARs, 56 Calls) and the success of this program could not be any more evident. A huge thank you to all our PSAR volunteers. To find out more about this and other programs check out our PSAR Page.
Join us at Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor on Sunday, October 10th for an Information Table where we will also have Picture Perfect Sleeping Bear on site for sale.
Where: Cherry Republic, 5109 S. Lake St, Glen Arbor
When: Sunday, October 10, 2021
Time: Noon – 2 PM
For more information about the book and to purchase that perfect holiday gift of up north memories, go to: www.sleepingbearbooks.org
The 2021 Track Chair season finished up at the end of September. We had fifty-five visitors use the Track Chair for a hike on the Bay View Trail. Visitors ranged in age from 10-97 and came from across Michigan and 11 additional states and D.C. Ten of those hikes were done with both chairs, allowing families with more than one mobility-challenged member to go together proving the second chair to be a great addition to the program!
We hope to expand the season next year from mid-June to mid-October. We are also very excited to announce that, due to a generous donation, we will be purchasing a third chair! We hope to have this chair at a different location so that our Track Chair users can experience another beautiful area of the Park.
Stay tuned there will be updated information coming this Spring of 2022 and you can always learn more about this program on our Track Chair Program Page.
As always we want to thank our wonderful volunteers that make this program possible. Due to their committed dedication, a hike has never had to be canceled because of a lack of a volunteer.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore along with FOSBD have been doing a tremendous job of protecting federally endangered Great Lakes Piping Plovers. Efforts include plover monitoring, restricting certain areas of the beach so nests are not disturbed by visitors or pets, educating the public about ways people can help, and sometimes even saving eggs from abandoned nests so birds can be reared in captivity at the University of Michigan Biological Station and released into the wild. The 2021 season was the most successful breeding season the Park staff have seen since their work to help piping plover recovery began. As of August 5 of this year, 81 chicks successfully fledged. The previous record was in 2018 when 72 chicks fledged.
This year’s success is likely due, in part, to the reduced water level in Lake Michigan and the resulting increase in beach habitat. Sleeping Bear Dunes provides habitat for one-third to one-half of the plovers in the Great Lakes population.
For more information visit https://www.nps.gov/slbe/learn/nature/pipingplover.htm. For additional updates on this year’s success, read the article on MLive.com, and Sleeping Bear Dunes marks record breeding season for piping plovers on mlive.com.
Park Seeking Winter Intern Applicants
Interested in learning more about working at a National Park, or do you know of someone who is looking to start their career with the Park Service? Internships are a great way to learn more! Check out the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore website for more information on available internships and how to apply.
During our Annual Meeting in August, we heard about Friends programs and updates from the park. We also voted in new and second term Board Members. You can view and learn more about our leadership on our Board Member page.
Find a recap about the 2020-2021 year on our Annual Meeting Page.
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