REGIONAL— Voyageurs National Park is being recognized for its exceptionally dark night skies. The 218,000-acre park, located along the Minnesota-Ontario border in far northwestern St. Louis …
REGIONAL— Voyageurs National Park is being recognized for its exceptionally dark night skies. The 218,000-acre park, located along the Minnesota-Ontario border in far northwestern St. Louis County, was recently named an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association.
“Voyageurs National Park has some of the darkest skies in the Midwest,” stated Park Superintendent, Bob DeGross. “We invite visitors to experience our spectacular night sky resource for themselves, winter or summer.”
With the increasing spread of human activity and nighttime lights across ever more of the planet’s surface, places where dark skies remain are increasingly rare. This certification recognizes Voyageurs National Park for the exceptional quality of its dark night skies as well as for the park’s commitment to preserving darkness and educating the public about this outstanding resource.
To qualify as an International Dark Sky Park, Voyageurs staff developed a comprehensive Lighting Management Plan which identifies how park staff will minimize impacts to the natural night by retrofitting existing exterior lighting at park facilities. Additionally, staff from the park, in cooperation with Voyageurs Conservancy, will conduct annual meter readings and educational opportunities to monitor the park’s ongoing dark sky quality and to encourage others to minimize impacts by taking simple steps.
Park staff will celebrate the certification achievement with programs at the park once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
The certification does not carry any legal or regulatory authority. The certification demonstrates a commitment by parks to improve night skies through the use of more energy efficient, sustainable lighting. Certification also reaffirms the park’s commitment to educate the public and gateway communities about the importance of park-friendly outdoor lighting and opportunities to work together toward common goals.