The Sleeping Bear Gateways Council evolved in 2018 from the Citizens Council for the Sleeping Bear Dunes Area. The predecessor Citizens’ Council was formed in the 1970’s in response to the creation of the National Lakeshore. It played an active role in issues involving park boundaries, access, and private property rights.
The National Lakeshore stretches more than 30 miles along Lake Michigan between Frankfort and Leland. It surrounds Empire and Glen Arbor and is also only a few minutes drive from the other villages in the area. Park headquarters are in Empire.