Celebrate National Park Week with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Ranger showing hikers a tree chewed by a beaver

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News Release Date: March 29, 2016

National Park Week, April 16 to 24, 2016, is America's largest celebration of national heritage. It's about making great connections, exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations, and enhancing America’s best idea–the national parks! It's all happening in your national parks. Celebrate 2016 National Park Week with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. All of the events are free of charge.  

Research Rendezvous - Friday, April 15 9:30 - 10:30 am  
Philip A Hart Visitor Center in Empire
As a pre-kick off to National Park Week, join us on Friday, April 15 at 9:30 am for a Research Rendezvous speaker at the Philip A Hart Visitor Center in Empire, MI. Dr. Zoran Kilibarda, professor at Indiana University Northwest, will present, “Comparison of Coastal Landforms and Sediments Between Sleeping Bear Dunes and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshores.” 

Find Your Art in the Park - Saturday, April 16 1:00 - 4:30 pm 
Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire, MI 
Celebrate the ways in which the natural beauty and cultural legacy of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore have inspired the creation of visual and performing arts over the years. A highlight of the afternoon will be the unveiling of a recent gift to the park from Grand Rapids ArtPrize: Ann Loveless’ textile collage Sleeping Bear Dunes, the 2013 Grand Rapids ArtPrize winter. The four panel textile will be installed in the visitor center gallery to hang with selections from the park’s Artist-in-Residence collection of visual arts. Dr. Mary McNichols, art historian and Professor at Detroit’s College of Creative Studies, will kick off the program with a short illustrated talk on the power of place–Sleeping Bear Dunes–to inspire creative arts. Park Ranger Susan Sanders will talk about the park’s Artist-in-Residence Program. The third presenter will be textile artist and two-time ArtPrize winner Ann Loveless who will share the story of her inspiration and creation of her 20 foot textile collage. Moving on to the performing and narrative arts, Norm Wheeler and members of the Beach Bards will top the afternoon with an audio collage of story, poetry, and music celebrating Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Star Party - Saturday, April 16 9:00 - 11:00 pm 
Stop #3 on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive 
Celebrate National Park Week and the first Star Party of the season: Find Your Park after dark! View the moon, Jupiter, and Mercury from the Stop #3 on the Scenic Drive. Remember to dress for the weather and bring a flashlight. 

Storm Spotter Training - Thursday, April 21 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire, MI
Severe Weather Spotters are a vital link in the timely and accurate flow of weather information into and out of weather forecast offices. The Storm Spotter training is a free event and available to the public. For more information on the training visit, http://www.volunteer.noaa.gov/weather_stormspotter.html

Find Your Park Instameet! - Saturday, April 23 10:00 am 
Glen Haven General Store 
Have fun taking pictures in the park, exploring a historic area, and connecting with your fellow IGers (Instagrammers). You do not have to be an Instagram user to join in the fun! Participants are encouraged to share their photos on social media using #GlenHavenIM #FindYourParkInstaMeet #FindYourPark #NPS100. Plan to be outside for about 1.5 hours and dress for the weather.

Junior Ranger Day - Saturday, April 23 1:00 - 4:00 pm  
D.H. Day Log Cabin in D.H. Day Campground
Explore, Learn, Protect! Families can take part in fun programs and earn a junior ranger badge or become a Centennial Junior Ranger. To celebrate the National Park Service's 100th birthday, this year's theme is Find your Park and junior rangers will get the chance to learn about Sleeping Bear Dunes and other National Parks across the nation.

Park at Glen Haven and walk the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail to the log cabin in the D.H. Campground. Families are free to come and go, but plan to spend 1 hour with rangers to earn your Junior Ranger badge. 

Park RX Day Run and Yoga - Sunday, April 24  10:00 am and 1:00 pm
Glen Haven 
Parks across the nation are hosting fun recreational activities that encourage healthy lifestyles and promote physical and mental well being. To celebrate Park RX Day at Sleeping Bear, you can join a ranger for a yoga session in the morning and a run in the afternoon. Join a Ranger at the Glen Haven beach at 10am for a 1 hour and 15 minute yoga session. Feel free to bring a yoga mat or towel. Meet a Ranger at the Glen Haven General Store at 1pm to go on an hour run through scenic areas of Sleeping Bear.  All skill levels are welcome and be sure to dress for the weather. 

National Park Week is Fee Free - April 16-24 
The National Park Service is waiving the park entrance fees and commercial tour fees in celebration of National Park Week beginning Saturday, April 16 and continuing through Sunday, April 24. Other fees including camping, reservations, and concession fees are not included.  All National Park Week special events at the National Lakeshore are also free.

For more information on all of these events visit calendar of events or call 231-326-4700-5010  

Last updated: March 29, 2016

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9922 Front Street
Empire, MI 49630


(231) 326-4700

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