Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Emmett County Gains Prestigious Dark Sky Designation

Headlands Dark Sky Park
Headlands Park (photo from UpNorthLive video)

based on several news articles

Headlands Park, just west of the Mackinac Bridge in Emmett County has been granted the prestigious designation as a Dark Sky Park. Only five other such locations have been named in the United States. These are in Utah, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Washington state.

Dark Sky Parks are considered to be outstanding locations for viewing the night sky. A 75-page application must be submitted to the International Dark-Sky Park Association. Testing for intrusive light on the property was conducted. There is also the requirement of an educational component, and ideas are being collected to meet this need.

Laurie Gaetano, the county’s Parks and Recreation Director, commented, "This important designation will spur many more opportunities for the public to come out and enjoy the beauty of the land, waters and skies that define North Michigan. And it will also ensure the protection of the many animal and bird species that call the Headlands home."

The 600-acre park has already been used for teaching opportunities related to astronomy. Cheboygan astronomer, Patrick Stonehouse, served as the Dark Sky Association sponsor for the Headlands property application. Upon hearing of the designation, he wrote, "Your achievement will benefit all those local star lovers who will have nowhere else to go in lower Michigan to see their celestial friends."

See Emmet County park on prestigious list for a really dark sky from UpNorthLive, and the video
See Emmet County park gets top designation for sky-watching from the Detroit Free Press
See Emmett County Dark Sky Park
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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