Many of Glacier National Park’s visitors each year have never had the opportunity to experience clear night skies unpolluted by city lights. After funding the first phase of the International Dark Sky designation in 2015, the next step is to begin replacing current lighting fixtures with “night sky friendly” lighting. These fixtures promote a healthy night environment for the park’s numerous nocturnal species, provides a better visitor experience, protects the dark night sky resource, and provides a safer park by controlling glare and directing lighting where it best serves its purpose instead of directing it up into the night sky.
In addition, this project will provide daytime solar and nighttime celestial viewing, using high quality viewing equipment. Programs will be provided five days per week at Apgar and St. Mary. The park will also host two to three bigger “star parties” at Logan Pass with the help of the Big Sky Astronomy Club. This program will provide a unique opportunity to see celestial objects, learn about the importance of dark skies and why they should be protected and preserved, and will help to support the park’s nomination as an international dark sky park in concert with Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. This designation will result in the first International Dark Sky Preserve.