Do you remember the last time you stepped outside into the night, looked up at the sky and really saw the stars shining above you? Not just a sprinkling here and there, but a full sky studded brightly with jewels of light in such profusion that you felt giddy with wonder.
With so much artificial light, even at night, those of us in urban and suburban areas rarely see the full glory of the night sky. Dark sky parks are spaces that make a commitment to protect and preserve the night by working to reduce or eliminate light pollution so that visitors can experience a truly dark sky.
If you have never considered the impact of artificial light, Paul Bogard’s book, The End of Night, is an eye-opening read. However, the best way to ponder the stars is to actually go out underneath them. We are fortunate in Michigan to have several dark sky parks and preserves. Included is the beautiful Headlands International Dark Sky Park outside Mackinaw City which achieved designation as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association in 2011. Michigan's newest Dark Sky Park, Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, was added to the Dark Sky Places program in 2022 by the International Dark Sky Association as well.