COPPER HARBOR, Mich. (WJMN) – The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has named Keweenaw Dark Sky Park (KDSP) the newest addition to the International Dark Sky Places (IDSP) Program.

The headquarters for the dark sky park will be at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge (KML), where visitors and supportive community members can meet, learn, and look U.P. to the stars for inspiration and to get closer to nature, while traveling around the top of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

The park is the third IDA-certified Dark Sky Park in Michigan, joining the Headlands International Dark Sky Park and the Dr. T.K. Lawless International Dark Sky Park.

To date, the KDSP is the first International Dark Sky Park in the Upper Peninsula.

“Keweenaw Dark Sky Park offers a unique experience to stargazing in the Midwestern United States,” stated Ashley Wilson, IDA’s Director of Conservation. “The historic wilderness lodge allows visitors to view the magnificence of the night sky in a window of the pristine boreal landscape while also having the opportunity to further engage with the nocturnal environment with astrophotography and lighting management workshops.”

KML’s Dark Sky Park designation comes after approximately a year-and-a-half of efforts that culminated with an application submittal to IDA in April 2021.

IDA’s Dark Sky Park application process is rigorous and requires applicants to demonstrate an exceptional dark sky resource, initiate robust dark sky preservation activities, and provide public outreach and support for dark sky protection.

“We are excited and honored that IDA has elected to welcome the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge into the IDA Dark Sky Places Program,” said John Mueller, owner of the resort. “It is a significant accomplishment and the Lodge’s Dark-Sky friendly policies will help foster and preserve its incredible star-filled sky in the Keweenaw. The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge looks to increase the stargazing and other dark-sky-related activities that are available in the region, and is proud to offer a headquarters for dark sky activities at the top of the Keweenaw.”

The International Dark Sky Places Program was founded in 2001 as a non-regulatory and voluntary program to encourage communities, parks, and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through effective lighting policies, environmentally responsible outdoor lighting, and public education.

The Keweenaw Dark Sky Park now joins more than 195 Places that have demonstrated robust community support for dark sky advocacy and strive to protect the night from light pollution. Learn more by visiting
www.darksky.org/conservation/idsp.