By Kent Berkley
Door County has a plethora of natural resources and beauty that make it special. One feature that makes Door County unique is its dark sky. Door County is one the last remaining places in which it is still possible to view details of the galaxy we occupy. John Beck, Past President and current member of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society, knows the value of this resource and what is at stake.
Beck stated that light pollution is a risk to our environment, safety, and energy reserves, but that measures can be undertaken to mitigate the risk. He mentioned several examples of good practice in Door County. The Village of Egg Harbor has enacted a local ordinance to ensure that the benefits of outdoor lighting are maintained but rationally implemented to protect against unnecessary glare and over-utilization. He pointed to the eastern end of Memorial Drive in Sturgeon Bay as an example of street lighting done well. The lighting is properly directed and sufficiently bright for the benefit of pedestrians without blinding drivers or filling the sky with misdirected light. Beck also applauded planners who illuminate flagpoles with downward directed light or have protocols in place for bringing the flag in at the end of the day thereby obviating the need to illuminate the flagpole at night.