Dark Sky Certification

The night sky and nocturnal environment are naturally, culturally, and historically important resources that are worthy of conservation. 

International Dark Sky Places certification is awarded to parks or cities that are dedicated to using light only when necessary to create an environment where people can feel safe in a public space at night. By using quality outdoor lighting and effective policies to reduce light pollution, we protect the nocturnal environment and provide a place that allows visitors to experience the night sky.

Grand Traverse Astronomical Society Telescope Demonstration

Grand Traverse Astronomical Society Telescope Demonstration


Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has been hosting Star Parties for many years in partnership with the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society. These popular programs benefit from minimizing light pollution. More programs describing the night sky are being developed for school groups this year.

Volunteer Duties

Our team of volunteers will conduct a survey and inventory of lighting fixtures throughout the park. This will identify light fixtures that require replacement or modification. Volunteers will take light readings throughout the park at various times of the year to identify sources of ambient light pollution.

The goal is to achieve International Dark Sky Place certification.

Interested in volunteering?

  1. To sign up as a volunteer with the Friends, fill out our Volunteer Registration form and note that you are interested in helping with the Dark Sky Program.
    A Volunteer Coordinator will get in touch with you to answer questions and outline the duties. 
  2. A short training will be demonstrated on how to use the light measurement equipment before your first volunteer session.
  3. Report your experience after each session through the Dark Sky Volunteer Data Reporting  form- https://friendsofsleepingbear.org/programs/dark-sky-certification/dark-sky-data-reporting/

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