Voyageurs National Park “Dark Sky Certification” & What It Means
The beautiful Voyageurs National Park recently received a "Dark Sky Park Certification." What does that mean? It has all to do with watching the stars, and further protecting the area from light pollution.
If you've never been to Voyageurs National Park, it is one of the most remote camping areas we have in the State of Minnesota. You're pretty far off in the undeveloped Northern woods of Minnesota. In fact the campsites are boat-in only and they are often more than a mile away from the nearest camp sight. My wife and I took our first trip this year, and it was even more secluded than we had expected. It was really a great time.
At night, the stars are brilliant if you are lucky enough to get a clear sky. There are no nearby city lights to dull the view. It's truly remarkable the amount of detail you can see in this park. That's why Voyageurs National Park recently came up with a comprehensive light management plan which identifies how they will minimize impacts to the natural night by retrofitting their exterior lights at their buildings, launches, and facilities. This was made possible by working with the International Dark-Sky Association, and contributions by members of the Voyageurs Conservancy.
The International Dark-Sky Associatin works to help protect the natural night time environment by promoting responsible outdoor lighting. They also educate the public about the benefits of night sky conservation.
You can read more about the certification in a press release from the National Park Service. Meantime, read below about how to get started in your own camping trip to Voyageurs so you can experience the wonderful stars yourself.