The Dark Ranger Returns! No, it’s not a sequel to some action movie.  This weekend, The Dark Ranger,  Kevin Poe, will return to Door County thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Door County Environmental Council, the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society, and the Boys and Girls Club of Door County.  He will return to  Crossroads Saturday evening,  September 16.

Kevin Poe is a park ranger in one of the darkest places in America, Bryce Canyon National Park, but he visits Door County to help us appreciate the wonders of a dark night sky. On Friday, he will visit three Door County middle schools and on Saturday afternoon, he will present a program at the Southern Door Auditorium.

Family Night with Kevin Poe will begin at 7:00 p.m.  in the lecture hall Collins Learning Center at Crossroads. With a stunning slide program, he will both introduce learners to all ages to astronomy and share information about light pollution. Once darkness falls, Kevin will join with members of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society to  offer a stargazing session at the at the Leif Everson Observatory and STARgarden. (2200 Utah Street (at the Utah/Cove road intersection, turn left onto Stargazer Trail.)

To constructively fill the time between the slide program and stargazing, volunteers from the Boys and Girls Club have organized a variety of family activities: roasting marshmallows and making S’mores at the Crossroads Council Ring,  stories and crafts in the Stonecipher Astronomy Center, and the opportunity to meet the Dark Ranger and talk to him about ways to protect the dark sky.

Currently, we at Crossroads are making a special effort to protect the dark sky. As a part of our parking lot expansion, we are installing parking lot lighting—warm LED luminaries which, current research indicates, have fewer known adverse environmental and human impacts than bright white lights. These luminaries incorporate shields plus motion/light/timing devices to effectively manage intensity, extent and duration of illumination in order to provide a safe level of light while avoiding excess light spillage or energy use.

We are eager to cut energy consumption, reduce carbon emissions, and save money.  We also are committed to preventing sky-glow (brightening of the night sky over inhabited areas) which is escalating in Sturgeon Bay.

The Collins Center parking lot northeast of the Leif Everson Observatory in line with the Northern Circumpolar Region of the sky. This is the area in which familiar (best for beginning stargazers) constellations are found before midnight.  Reducing light pollution from the parking lot will foster our collaboration with the astronomical outreach programs offered by the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society.

During our Parking Lot expansion, spaces will be available much of the time, but when heavy equipment is present, we ask that visitors park at the Maintenance Building (first drive east of the main entrance) or at the Astronomy Campus parking lot (intersection of Cove Road and Utah Street).

Crossroads at Big Creek is made up of three properties:  Ida Bay, The Cove, and the Big Creek Preserves. The Collins Learning Center, located at 2041 Michigan Street , is  open daily 2:00-4:30 and during scheduled programs. Restrooms and trails are always open.

Friday, September 15                                                                                                                                                          3:00 Friday Film: “Wisconsin’s Nazi Resistance: the Mildred Fish Harnack Story

This 2011Wisconsin Public Television historical documentary takes a provocative look at a Milwaukee-born University of Wisconsin graduate who became the only American woman ever executed on the direct order of Adolf Hitler for her involvement in the Berlin resistance movement. Collins Learning Center. Free and open to the public.


Saturday, November 16                                                                                                                                                                                                Family Astronomy Night                                                                                                                                                                                                 7:00 An Evening with Dark Ranger Kevin Poe

This stunning slide show will increase your appreciation for dark skies. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by Door County Environmental Council and the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society. Lecture hall of the Collins Learning Center.

7:45 Marshmallow roasting and S’mores at the Crossroads Council Ring

Campfire fun sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club of Door County. Free and open to the public.  Can be reached by trail from either the Collins Center or the Astronomy Campus.

7:45 Crafts and Stories at the Stonecipher Astronomy Center

Family fun sponsored the Boys and Girls Club of Door County. 2200 Utah Street. Free and open to the public.  In case of rain, Kevin will show slides in the  Collins Learning Center.

8:30 Stargazing with the Dark Ranger

Join Kevin Poe and members of DPAS for an evening of stargazing  at the Leif Everson Observatory and STARgarden. Free and open to the public.  In case of rain, Kevin will show slides in the Collins Learning Center.

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