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Contact: Lisa Myers, 231-326-5134
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is looking to the stars and celebrating 40 years as a unit of the National Park Service! Join us from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 21 for a special presentation of the night sky in partnership with the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society. Get a close-up look at the (almost) full moon, search for planets, and enjoy the views from the top of the dunes. Dress for the weather and take a flashlight for the walk back to your vehicle. Meet at Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, Overlook #3. For inclement weather, please meet at the Visitor Center in Empire for an indoor presentation.
On October 21, 1970, the United States Congress established Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and added it to their expanding National Park System. Superintendent Dusty Shultz announced that the 40th Anniversary of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore would be celebrated throughout the next year, beginning on Thursday, October 21, 2010 with a star party at 6:00 p.m. on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. It was President Richard Nixon who signed Public Law 91-479 40 years ago that states,
"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That (a) the Congress finds that certain outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, dune formations and ancient glacial phenomena, exist along the mainland shore of Lake Michigan and on certain nearby islands..., and that such features ought to be preserved in their natural setting and protected from developments and uses which would destroy the scenic beauty and natural character of the area. In order to accomplish this purpose for the benefit, inspiration, education, recreation, and enjoyment of the public, the Secretary of the Interior…is authorized to take appropriate action…to establish in the State of Michigan the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore."
The public is invited to share in the first anniversary event by bundling up for an evening of land and sky gazing on the Scenic Drive, which will remain open longer than usual that night. From the vantage point on Picnic Mountain (Overlook #3), friends, neighbors, and visitors may view many of the 71,291 acres that were set aside for protection and enjoyment for all future generations. Light refreshments will also be served.
For more information about the National Lakeshore, please call 231-326-5134.