2013 Annual Awards Luncheon

Excellence in outdoor lighting recognized at 2013 event in Petoskey

The 10th annual Outdoor Lighting Forum honored Emmet County individuals, businesses and groups committed to sound outdoor lighting practices that results in less light pollution and more quality dark skies over Northwest Michigan.

The event took place at the City Park Grill in Petoskey on Earth Day, April 22, 2013. Hosting the event was Mary Stewart Adams, Director of Programming for the International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands. Keynote speaker was Frank Ettawageshik, Executive Director of the United Tribes of Michigan. He spoke about the importance of considering every day to be Earth Day, and reminding attendees about the importance of not sacrificing the important elements of Earth for human conveniences.

Ettawageshik praised the efforts of the honorees, Emmet County and others in the region for working diligently to protect our natural resources in Northern Michigan. “We’ve done so many positive things,” Ettawageshik said. “I feel good about that. I feel good about being part of a community that is doing these things.”

Honored with the Gary R. Williams Excellence in Outdoor Lighting Awards were: Harbor Springs Car Care, Harbor Springs (Connie Warner accepting); Johnstone Supply, Petoskey (Eric Stehouwer accepting); Jones Landing Park (Dennis Keiser accepting); Village of Mackinaw City (Jeff Hingston accepting); and Joann Condino of Three Pines Studio in Cross Village.

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10th Annual Outdoor Lighting Forum on Earth Day April 22 celebrates great lighting in Emmet County

Protecting the night sky is well-regarded work in Northern Michigan. The groundwork for local successes, including the designation of Emmet County’s Headlands property as the 10th International Dark Sky Park in the world in 2011, was first initiated many years ago by the Outdoor Lighting Forum, under the leadership of Mary Lou Tanton and her colleagues.

Now in its 10th year, the Outdoor Lighting Forum hosts an annual awards luncheon in Petoskey that keeps the community informed about conscientious outdoor lighting and celebrates business owners and area residents who choose to observe night-sky friendly recommendations in their lighting choices.

The 2013 luncheon will take place at noon on Monday, April 22, at the City Park Grill in Petoskey. It is timed to coincide with Earth Day each year, which is also the date of the first Spring meteor shower, known as the Lyrids.

The public is welcome and invited to attend the luncheon; the cost is one’s own lunch.

This year’s featured speaker is Frank Ettawageshik, Executive Director of the United Tribes of Michigan and dedicated dark sky advocate who shares sensitivity to the role the natural world plays in daily living. This year, four awards will be given for excellence in outdoor lighting, and the program will also include celestially inspired music provided by a quartet from the Crooked Tree Youth Orchestra.

Current research from the International Dark Sky Association regarding waste caused by light pollution, a term that refers to the light that is spilled up into the sky where it is not needed, is stunning, according to Mary Stewart Adams, the Headlands Dark Sky Park Program Director. She said it is now estimated that nearly 30% of ‘street light’ is misdirected – translating to an estimated 22,000 gigawatt hours annually. At $0.10/hour, this results in a cost of $2.2 billion each year on wasted light, the equivalent of 3.6 tons of coal or 12.9 million barrels of oil. In addition, that translates further into 15.5 million metric tons of unnecessary greenhouse gases.

“Join us in fixing the light so that we can once again find the fixed stars!” Adams said.

Reservations for the luncheon are requested and can be made by calling (231) 838-8181, or email [email protected]



Emmet County, Michigan
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