On Saturday, November 11, at The International Dark Sky Association’s 29th annual General Meeting held in Boston, Ma, Emmet County’s Headlands International Dark Sky Park was named the first-ever, Dark Sky Place of the Year. This new award is given to recipients in recognition of a recent exceptional achievement. It also requires that the International Dark Sky Park has been established for at least three years.
IDA’s program manager, John Barentine says, “Headlands has, for six years since receiving its IDA Dark Sky Park designation, consistently gone above and beyond regarding the number and variety of dark-skies programs it presents to the public. No other Dark Sky Park quite compares in this regard.”
“Having the Headlands International Dark Sky Park be named the 2017 Dark Sky Place of the Year by our peers is such an honor. This award is a testament to the great group of people we have working together. The night sky overhead changes every season, giving us the opportunity to offer dynamic programming that engages both the latest research in the sciences and the humanities. The exceptional location of Emmet County’s Headlands International Dark Sky Park with its’ access to beauty both during the day and night provides the perfect stage for direct encounters with a protected wilderness environment. Our park provides the ideal setting for our team to create the terrific programs we are being recognized for with this award.”
When Headlands was designated in 2011, it was the 6th International Dark Sky Park in the United States and 9th in the world. There are now 56. Of those 56, 27 were eligible for consideration as International Dark Sky Park of the Year, including among them some fabulous national parks.
The Headlands International Dark Sky Park is a 600-acre Emmet County Park situated on two miles of forested Lake Michigan.