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Volunteers maintain Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Snowshoeing at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Kelly 2007
Snowshoeing on Old Indian Trail

Updated Jan. 15, 2019: As of Saturday National Park maintenance workers have begun plowing and picking up trash.

While many federal employees continue to be out of work during the partial government shutdown, about 30 volunteers are filling in for park rangers at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. 

Members of the non-profit group Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes have emptied trash receptacles, cleaned and restocked bathrooms, and groomed 20 miles of trails around the Lakeshore.

However, the volunteers aren’t able to do some of the ranger’s responsibilities. 

They can’t assist visitors in the welcome center, provide emergency and rescue services, or plow parking lots.

Volunteers say they’ve been able to keep up after the dozens of visitors to the Lakeshore each day, but say they may be overwhelmed if the shutdown continues into the busy season.