National Ranger Day: Meet the Rangers at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

“I can’t imagine being anywhere else or doing anything else.”The Four National Rangers Day.transcoded.01

Welcome to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore… A special place cared for by some pretty special people. Today is National Ranger Day, a day to celebrate the hard work and countless hours rangers at our National Parks put in each year to keep both visitors and mother nature happy. 

Emily Sunblade, an Education Technician and the Summer Lead Interpreter at Sleeping Bear Dunes says, “Our goal is to create future stewards of current generations but younger generations too.” They are just doing just that. Keeping people informed with informal education opportunities for families visiting from around the world. 

However, there’s more to a Ranger’s role than many realize. A lot of it is unfolding behind the scenes. “They think when they see a park ranger that his whole day is going around saying hello to people and when in reality that’s a fraction of what we do,” explains Dennis Hauck, the Leelanau District Fee and Visitor Services Supervisor. 

Dennis Hauck oversees the maintenance at the campgrounds, the dune climb, both North and South Manitou islands and Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Let’s just say busy is an understatement for the work he does. He has to wear many different hats… “We have to be educators, we have to be conservationists, we have to be realists,” says Hauck. 

Rangers have a very important role, they’re advocates for Mother Nature and the dunes. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to experience many of the breathtaking views… “Where we were up by the overlook would be a hotel and the lake shore would be condo after condo after condo with no access to it,” says Hauck. 

Now these dunes can be enjoyed for decades to come. If you would like more information or plan on visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, click here for more information. 

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