In honor of the 100th birthday of the National Parks, the National Park Service is inviting everyone to join in the celebration. Admission is free for the day to all 412 parks including Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and special Sleeping Bear Dunes events are planned throughout Founders Day, August 25, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. See the full schedule below.
(At 5 p.m., help form a human “100” on the dune climb!)
Video by Emma Winowiecki
Sleeping Bear Dunes Events:
*Event calendar by National Park Service
8 a.m to 6 p.m. | Exhibit Search – Visitor center in Empire
Explore the visitor center and learn about the National Lakeshore’s natural and cultural history.
9 a.m. | Plover Program – Platte Point
The Great Lakes Piping Plover is a critically endangered species that nests on the beaches at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Come meet park biologists to learn about the success of their recovery in the park and how you, and your pets, can help the recovery effort.
9 a.m. | Invasive Plants on the Beaches and Dunes – Peterson Beach
Meet a park biologist to learn how non-native plants threaten our dunes – then pitch in to help fight off the invaders!
10 a.m. | Coffee Talk with the Superintendent – Platte River Campground Amphitheater
Meet Scott Tucker, the new Superintendent at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Bring your favorite morning beverage and chat with him at the campground.
10 a.m. | Port Oneida Open House – Port Oneida Heritage Center
Join Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear for a sneak peak in the barns and farmsteads of Port Oneida. Meet at the Port Oneida Heritage Center to start your tour.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Meet a Real VIP – Glen Haven
Catch a volunteer and ask about their amazing stories of service at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. They will be at the cannery, blacksmith shop, and maritime museum in Glen Haven.
11 a.m. | I Want to Be a Park Ranger – Visitor center in Empire
What does it take to be a ranger? Find out about careers in the NPS and how to apply. Meet in the auditorium.
11 a.m. | Trail Ambassador Bike Ride – Dune Climb
Join Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes Trail Ambassadors on a short bike ride to learn what’s happening on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. Meet at the trailhead at the Dune Climb.
11 a.m. | Storm Recovery – Both Alligator Hill Trailheads
Explore Alligator Hill and learn how the National Lakeshore cleared the trail following last year’s windstorm. Talk with trail workers about the “tools of the trade.”
12 p.m. | Secret of the Stones – Esch Beach
Beautiful beach rocks abound on the sandy shores of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Use your keen observation skills to uncover the tales these stones tell.
12 p.m. | Wild Thoughts at a Wild Place – Bass Lake near Trails End
Stop by Bass Lake to explore with a ranger the depths of psychology, ecology, and human/wilderness relationships.
12 p.m. | Aquatic Invaders – Glen Lake Picnic Area
Meet a park biologist to learn how you can help keep invasive species out of park waters.
1 p.m. | National Park Centennial Trivia! – Glen Lake Picnic Area
Test your knowledge of the NPS and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore by joining rangers for a rousing round of trivia – with prizes!
1 p.m. | Talk with the Superintendent – D. H. Day Campground Amphitheater
Meet Scott Tucker, the new Superintendent at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Bring your favorite afternoon beverage and chat with him at the campground.
1 p.m. | Park Ranger? Or Batman? – Visitor center parking lot
Learn about the specialized equipment used by the National Lakeshore’s law enforcement rangers.
1 p.m. | Log Cabin Preservation – Shalda Cabin (M-22 and County Road 669)
Hewing. Notching. Joining. Chinking. Check out the skills of the historic preservation staff at the National Lakeshore.
2 p.m. | Inside the Inn – Sleeping Bear Inn, Glen Haven
If the walls could talk, what stories would they tell? Explore the Sleeping Bear Inn with a ranger.
2 p.m. | Founder’s Photo Booth – Dune Climb
Stop by the Dune Climb and experience the life of the great founders of the NPS! Dress up like John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt, hear great stories, and design your very own NPS arrowhead!
3 p.m. | Beach Water Quality Monitoring – North Bar Lake
Meet a park biologist to learn about the park’s cutting-edge method of testing water quality at swim beaches.
3 p.m. | Heroes of the Storm – Cannery, Glen Haven
This reenactment of a turn-of-the-century shipwreck rescue is designed for children of all ages. The rescue is followed by a live black powder firing of the Lyle gun; the only gun designed to SAVE lives.
4 p.m. | Waking Bears – #9 Overlook, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive
Not all of the bears at the National Lakeshore are sleeping! Learn about local black bears and how they differ from their western grizzly cousins.
4 p.m. | Create Your Own National Park – Picnic Mountain, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive
National parks are special places that represent America’s beauty, wildlife, history, and heritage. Learn about what unique qualities make a national park and then build your own!
5 to 7 p.m. | Birthday Celebration – Dune Climb
Join park staff for the 100th birthday party of the NPS. Activities will be available for all ages. Help form a human “100” on the dune, sing happy birthday and have a cupcake. Celebrate in style at the Dune Climb. Food trucks will be available.
8 p.m. | 100 Years of the National Park Service – Platte River and D. H. Day Campgrounds
Delve into the past 100 years of the NPS. Discover Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’s place in history and uncover how you can help write the next century’s story of preservation. Programs offered at both D. H. Day and Platte River Campground Amphitheaters.
The Coast Guard is also celebrating its 100th birthday this year. In celebration of the coinciding centennials, the Traverse City Coast Guard flew the MyNorth Media video crew over the Sleeping Bear Dunes via helicopter to share the sites with you. The footage is stunning.
Explore Leelanau County with MyNorth Media’s free Vacation Guide!
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