Beaver Island Dark Sky Project Files Sanctuary Application
International recognition sought for island’s unique dark skies.
BEAVER ISLAND, MI (January 25, 2021)—After a six month preparation process and about two years from the first glimmer of the idea, the Beaver Island Dark Sky Project working through the island’s Chamber of Commerce and Beaver Island Association, has filed an application with the International Dark Skies Association (IDA) for recognition of about a third of the island as a Dark Sky Sanctuary. Chamber President Paul Cole, who helped lead the effort, says the idea got its start with Bill Markey and Dick McEvoy after a dark sky presentation to summer visitors. “The idea bounced around for a bit and then late this summer we organized a small group to get the application done,” he said. The proposed sanctuary lands encompass part of a Michigan DNR Wildlife Division research area on the island. “We got in touch with the DNR and discussed the value to the island of the designation and our mutual interest in preserving the natural dark skies in the research area as well as the rest of the island. They quickly offered their support.” The Sanctuary is planned to include a research area managed by Central Michigan University, which has a classroom and research facilities on the island, as well as the newly established Beaver Head Light House Park, which is owned by Charlevoix County.