Tuesday, June 7, 2016

'The Most Beautiful Place in America'

Hello once again, my name is Tim Greene and I have the privilege of spending my second summer internship as a ProRanger at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan. Tucked away on the Northwest Coast of the Lower Peninsula, SLBE was voted the 'Most Beautiful Place in America' by Good Morning America in 2011. It's safe to say that my camera has gotten a lot of use in my first few days here...



    I've had my eyes on this park ever since joining the ProRanger Program, and I am extremely excited that I have the opportunity to be here. The diversity of the landscape, heavy visitation (1.5 million visitors in 2015) and pure beauty of the area are all qualities that make this place so unique. The sand dunes, standing at over 400 feet tall in some areas, make for a breathtaking view and adventurous climb. The park's 100 miles of trails provides countless hours of recreation for many visitors. The historic districts give visitors a glimpse into how life was on the farms and small towns of this area before Sleeping Bear Dunes was established as a National Lakeshore in 1970. However, with all of these amazing features comes a lot of responsibility for the Visitor and Resource Protection division. 
    During my first week here, I have had a wonderful time getting an introduction to life at SLBE. My supervisor, Leelanau District Ranger Andy Blake, and the rest of the Law Enforcement Rangers have been extremely welcoming and I can already tell that I am lucky to be able to spend my summer working and learning with this crew. My first few days involved signing papers, getting a tour, and patrolling the area while trying to get the lay of the land. We responded to a call on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, where a bike accident had occurred that required ambulance assistance. It was great to see the Rangers and local EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) in action and work so well together. 
Scene of the accident
Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail
Even though we disagree on the "Subs vs. Hoagies" and "Pop vs. Soda" debates, the entire Sleeping Bear staff is making me feel at home. I can tell that I am in for a fun, challenging, and rewarding summer. Being able to help protect an area like this is an honor, and I look forward to what lies ahead.  

Sunset over Lake Michigan
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