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Contact: Philip A. Hart Visitor Center, 231-326-5134, ext. 328
Superintendent Dusty Shultz announces the continuation in 2010 of summer bike tours at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. As part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), Interpretive Park Ranger Ryan Locke will lead bicycle tours that focus on how invasive species are affecting our native plants and animals here on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Ryan, from Spring Lake, Michigan, has already spent the past two summers leading other bicycle tours throughout the National Lakeshore. Thanks to GLRI funding, the park was able to add these new programs to its offerings this year.
The GLRI is funding many ecological restoration projects around the Great Lakes, including ones at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. In addition, it has an educational component intended to let people know about the threats posed to the Great Lakes by invasive species. “While we will be offering our usual wide variety of daily Park Ranger-led walks, historical demonstrations, and evening campground programs, the GLRI is providing park visitors and locals the opportunity to see and learn about the National Lakeshore with a knowledgeable bike guide,” said Superintendent Shultz. “Ryan worked with us as an intern the past two summers pioneering the bicycle program, so he is quite familiar with the park and is very excited about continuing these bike programs.”
Ryan will pedal two different routes; one each on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with the new schedule beginning on July 14. Rides are considered moderate in difficulty and strenuous at times. Tours will be on gravel, dirt, and some paved roads. Mountain bike tires are appropriate. Helmets are recommended, and children should be at least 10 years of age. Bring your own sunscreen, bug spray, water, and camera. Please remember that bikes need to be in good working condition. Rides will cover between 7 and 10 miles and last approximately two hours. Topics include:
- Discovering the Changing Landscape: North of Glen Arbor, through the Port Oneida Rural Historic District. Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m.
- Aliens in the Ecosystem! South of Empire, through an agricultural landscape, ghost town, and former logging area. Thursdays at 11:00 a.m.
No reservations are needed, and participants need only purchase the park entrance pass to join in the fun ($10.00/vehicle valid for seven days or $20.00/vehicle for an entire year). When planning to attend a program, be prepared for all kinds of weather, dress appropriately, and wear a bike helmet. It is recommended that participants be 10 years of age or older. For more information about the schedule, meeting locations, or other Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore activities, please call the Visitor Center at 231-326-5134, ext. 328.