MIchigan Now Has Two International Dark Sky Parks
Have you tried to find a place to watch a meteor shower, or just gaze at the stars? As we continue to light up our nights, usually for safety reasons, it's becoming harder and harder to find a good place for stargazing. Well according to MLive, it's getting a bit easier in Southwest Michigan.
Recently Dr. T.K. Lawless Park, in Cass County, became the second park in Michigan to be named an International Dark Sky Park. That designation comes from the International Dark-Sky Association which awards parks that offer "unspoiled night-sky viewing", MLive reports.
The process to apply for the designation is extremely rigorous, including recording detailed measurements of the sky’s darkness as well as altering outdoor lighting to meet strict requirements.
Dr. T.K. Lawless Park is an 860-acre nature park, 9 miles east of Cassopolis, where you can hike, mountain bike, and more during the day, then enjoy the wonders of space unpolluted at night. And at most, it's $3 to get into the park; $1 if you're from Cass County.
Mlive says the park directors will be working on ways to get people into the park to enjoy some stargazing with a few late-night hours on certain nights and other events. They're planning to celebrate their new international title with a party, April 24-26.
Officials told MLive they'll soon have a website just for the dark sky park, but that they want to expand their offerings at the park including astrophotography workshops in the near future - Until then, you can check out Lawless Park and dark sky events through the Cass County Parks site.
The other International Dark Sky Park in Michigan is in Mackinaw City at The Headlands, two miles of undeveloped lakeshore, which is great for stargazing. When The Headlands became an International Dark Sky Park back in 2011, it was one of only10 in the world, according to MLive.