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Manitoba provincial park gets dark-sky designation from astronomical society

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Manitoba provincial park gets dark-sky designation from astronomical society
A Manitoba provincial park has received a special designation from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Spruce Woods Provincial Park was designated as Manitoba’s first dark-sky preserve – Aug 31, 2022

A Manitoba provincial park has received a special designation from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Spruce Woods Provincial Park was designated as Manitoba’s first dark-sky preserve, parks minister Jeff Wharton announced Wednesday.

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The park is a popular spot for Manitoba stargazers, known as a prime location for clear viewing of the night sky.

“We are excited to see beautiful Spruce Woods Provincial Park become the first provincial site to be designated as a dark-sky preserve, which recognizes its strong commitment to preserving nighttime ecosystems and educating visitors about light pollution,” Wharton said.

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Sloan Cathcart, head of interpretation at Manitoba Parks, told 680 CJOB preserving the sky protects an important piece of history.

“The early fur traders and explorers travelling under the stars, being guided by the North Star, Indigenous peoples fishing under the moonlight–we can have that connection to the past at Spruce Woods.”

The park officially gets its designation at a ceremony on Sunday at the annual Spruce Woods Star Party event, presented by the astronomical society.

The event, which kicks off at 7 p.m. at the park’s visitor centre, will include moon observation at 8 p.m. and a laser-guided star tour at 9 p.m.

Wharton said the province has contributed to installing special fixtures at the park to reduce light pollution and enhance viewing of the sky.

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Aurora chasing in Manitoba

 

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