Camp Westminster’s Dark Skies
Camp Westminster has definitely earned a reputation for its encompassing pines, clear water, and beautiful lake views; but spend the night and you will realize that Camp’s prettiest picture is revealed only after the sun goes down.
Those of you who have spent time at Camp Westminster know just how dark it gets at night! Individuals visiting camp from Chicago and Detroit always remark on the darkness of the woods and the astounding visibility of the night sky. Light pollution has become a major problem in cities and surrounding suburbs. These days, rural areas offer some of the only opportunities to see the grandeur of our Milky Way.
According to the International Dark-Sky Association, Increased “urban sky glow” is responsible for the disappearance of our natural nightscapes. To reduce the amount of light pollution in our cities and suburbs the IDA offers these tips: use lights only when they are needed; use only as much light as needed; shine lights down, not up; and use efficient light sources for outdoor lighting around homes and businesses. For more information, check out this Introduction to Light Pollution.
In an effort to promote night sky conservation, the International Dark-Sky Association certifies locations with exceptional nightscapes as International Dark Sky Communities, Parks, and Reserves. According to the IDA’s website (www.darksky.org) “these locations serve as reminders that with quality outdoor lighting, the extraordinary wonders of the nighttime sky and night environment are just as much a part of our lifestyle and history as are the daylight hours.”
Do you think Camp Westminster could be certified as an International Dark Sky location?