Dark Skies

Did you know that Michigan is among the best places in the lower 48 states to see the northern lights (aurora borealis)? The auroral oval of visibility is centered on the magnetic pole, which means that northern Michigan offers the same auroral visibility as Oslo, Norway; Helsinki, Finland; and Kodiak, Alaska. However, since Michigan is farther south, night time lasts much longer from spring to fall than in these locations, which are famous for “white nights” in which the sun does not fully set. Dark, moonless nights are needed to see the northern lights, so Michigan provides excellent opportunities to see them all year—including summer. However, light pollution is increasingly an issue—with a rate rising up to 20 percent per year. Scenic Michigan is committed to working toward practical solutions to address the problem of light pollution and we’re working on developing resources to guide communities on the development of better lighting ordinances.

We are partnering with Michigan Dark Skies and the International Dark Sky Association to develop better guidance for Michigan communities. Please reach out to us if you need any assistance developing a lighting ordinance for your community.

If you’re interested in visiting a dark sky preserve in Michigan, check out the following websites for helpful guidance.

News and Updates

2019 Photo Contest

By | News

We are excited to announce the beginning of our 2019 Photo Contest. This year we’re taking it up a notch and we have partnered with MLive to increase the visibility of the contest. We’re thrilled that we’ll be able to share the many amazing photos we receive with a broader…

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Scenic Michigan 2018 Scenic Heros

By | News

Last night we presented Troy resident, Alec Peeples (Keep Troy Beautiful) and the City of Troy with Scenic Hero Awards! Thanks to good community organizing (following the permitting of 5 digital billboards in Troy) and a responsive City Council, the City of Troy adopted a new sign ordinance in 2018…

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Governor Snyder Vetoes SB 964

By | News, Uncategorized

We have exciting news to report! Today, Governor Snyder vetoed SB 964.  This bill, introduced by Senator Casperson, would have amended the Highway Advertising Act of 1972 solely to benefit the outdoor advertising industry and would have provided no public benefit. The final version of the bill even stripped provisions…

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2018 City Beautiful Essay Contest Winners

By | News

  Last spring, Scenic Michigan and Keep Michigan Beautiful partnered together in a pilot project aimed at engaging high school students on the topic community design and placemaking. The City Beautiful essay contest, open to all high school juniors and seniors in Flint and Cheboygan, asked students to think and…

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2018 City Beautiful Essay Contest

By | News

Scenic Michigan and Keep Michigan Beautiful are pleased to announce the launch of our City Beautiful Essay Contest.  Each year, Scenic Michigan and Keep Michigan Beautiful plan to reach out to high school students around the state with the question “Does the appearance of your city matter?”.  We want to…

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Purchase Our Award-winning Sign Guidebook

This Michigan Sign Guidebook addresses local planning and regulation of nearly all types of exterior signs.

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