As the headquarters for the Keweenaw Dark Sky Park, the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge leads the effort in the region to foster the dark skies.
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 becomes the 3rd IDA-certified Dark Sky Park in the State of Michigan, joining the Headlands International Dark Sky Park and the Dr. T.K. Lawless International Dark Sky Park; and is the first International Dark Sky Park in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
“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.”
The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge is a 500-acre resort at the top of the Keweenaw Peninsula, as far north as one can go in the state of Michigan. Situated near Copper Harbor, the resort is surrounded by thousands of acres of wilderness, while the Keweenaw peninsula is surrounded on 3 sides by Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. The resort and top of the Keweenaw offer visitors and supportive community members a remarkable place to learn, recreate, and celebrate, while also providing an inspiring gathering place for everyone interested in exploring the beauty of the Keweenaw by day or the pristine star-filled dark skies at night. 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. The application was prepared by a team of KML staff that value the environment, including fostering and preserving the dark skies. 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. When used indiscriminately, artificial light can disrupt ecosystems, impact human health, waste money and energy, contribute to climate change, and block our view and connection to the universe. 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.