Traverse City News and Events

Sleeping Bear Welcomes Landmark Visitors

Aug. 20, 2019

When Meghan Boertman and her family from Norton Shores walked through the door at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire, they weren’t prepared for any accolades. But Sleeping Bear Park Deputy Superintendent Tom Ulrich greeted them with gifts while park rangers and the rest of the visitors applauded when they walked in the door. Boertman was the 50 millionth visitor to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

It was the Boertmans’ first visit to the National Lakeshore. Meghan and her husband Spencer were traveling with their two children, Jacoby and Levi. The Boertmans were presented with a plush black bear, an annual park pass, “Beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes" and “Legend of the Sleeping Bear” souvenir books, and a DVD of the official slide show, “Dreams of the Sleeping Bear,” shown regularly at the visitor center.

“The National Lakeshore is proud to recognize Mrs. Boertman as our 50 millionth visitor on the cusp of our 50thanniversary year in 2020,” said Ulrich. “Those numbers are testament to the continuing importance of the National Lakeshore as a wonderful place to visit; not only as a regional destination, but nationally as well.” National Lakeshore visitation statistics are recorded from road, visitor center, and campground counters on the mainland, as well as North and South Manitou Islands.

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