Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Steal Toilet Paper and Hand Sanitizer, Leave Litter at Park

While most everything is shut down and closed, the great outdoors is still open for business.

TrashThe Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has seen a huge uptick in traffic, in a usually quiet month. They have also seen an increase in littering, and have had problems with looting since the start of the coronavirus issue in Michigan.

The park superintendent says visitors have unraveled rolls of toilet paper from the dune’s 30+ bathrooms, and have also broken into the Purel hand sanitizing dispensers in the outhouses.

Sleeping Bear is operating on minimal staffing and has closed down all their bathrooms to prevent looting and protect their employees. The superintendent says they do not have enough personal protective equipment to effectively clean the bathrooms so it’s in everyone’s best interest to lock the bathrooms up for now.

What’s most important through this pandemic, park supervisor Scott Tucker says, is continuing to be a mental health outlet for people who are largely cooped up inside.

“The bottom of my list is figuring out who and how toilet paper and Purel were stolen. Top of my list is figuring out how we can provide activities for visitors and locals to keep their mental well-being during this trying time,” said Tucker.

Tucker also wants to warn guests to only trek hikes they can handle.

Local emergency services are already very busy and a rescue call could cost them precious supplies and time that could be used to handle more essential calls.