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Holly Erskine

Sunday, May 31, 2015

I am beyond joy with excitement over the possibility that our nearby Newport State Park could, with YOUR help, acquire the coveted status as an International Dark-Sky Association Dark Sky Park--the first in Wisconsin! It is not easy to get this designation and the folks at Door Peninsula Astronomical Society have worked hard in difficult weather doing photometry to verify that the park is relatively free of light pollution. 


Here's what you can do to help:
Write a letter indicating that you as an individual, or your organization, supports this, to Michelle Hefty at Newport State park at



Or by snail mail:
Newport State Park
475 County Road NP
Ellison Bay, WI 54210

I spent a few years giving star talks at two other International Dark Sky Sites: Natural Bridges and Capital Reef in Utah. I also volunteered coordinating monthly star gazing parties in light polluted parking lots in Salt Lake. In one setting you could see incredible detail in distant galaxies, nebulae, our solar system's planets...in the other, you would be lucky to see a blurry planet. Bottom line: you want to preserve the rare places where children can see the wonders of the universe with just their eyes, up close and personal. It's better than TV. There is no substitute.


Here I am about 20 years ago at Flagstaff, about to look at Mars through Percival Lowell's own scope. Much as I adore the fancy instruments, let's keep some areas so free of light pollution that children may see the Milky Way using just their eyes.

Holly Erskine, co-producer