Leelanau News and Events

Celebrate Northport's Dark Sky

By Emily Tyra | March 16, 2020

A group committed to preserving dark sky in Leelanau Township is working toward its recognition as an International Dark Sky Association dark sky community.

The dark sky committee is part of Leelanau Energy, founded by local citizens who champion energy conservation and energy efficiency.

Northport resident and Leelanau Energy member Kathy Garthe explains: “’Dark sky’” does not mean a lack of lighting at night, but instead addresses the need for the right kind of light in the right place and at the right times.”

She cites energy savings, maintaining healthy levels of melatonin and preserving our dark sky heritage as reasons to protect this natural resource for present and future generations: “100 years ago, the night sky was visible to people all over the world. Now, only 20 percent of the worldwide population can see the Milky Way. Low wattage, shielded lights let us reclaim our natural night,” says Garthe.

For Earth Week 2020, the group is collaborating with the Northport Arts Association (NAA) and others to host a set of events focused on the dark sky.

As of press time, NAA’s Enchanting Evening Show opens on April 16, 5pm to 7pm at the Village Arts Building, 301 N. Mill Street in Northport. Over 20 artists will show work highlighting the night sky throughout history, including Northport nature photographer Sheen Watkins (pictured above).

Head here for a complete list of Northport’s dark sky events running April 16 through April 24. 

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