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INTERNATIONAL FALLS—Voyageurs National Park Association (VNPA), in partnership with the National Park Service and the University of Minnesota - Duluth, will host a free dark sky program on Feb. 27. The program will be offered twice and registration is required.

The Cosmic Tour and Dark Sky Adventure will be hosted by Travis Novitsky and Joel Halverson. An early showing will be held from 3:30 - 5 p.m., with a repeat from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center, Voyageurs National Park.

Registration is required. Visit or call 613-333-5424 to sign up. Anyone five and over is welcome. If leaving a message, include your name, which time you prefer, the number of people attending and a contact number.

Using the Boreal Observatory, program attendees will take a guided, interactive tour of the known universe from inside the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Then, Travis and Joel will share stories, insights, and adventures to help illuminate the mystery and beauty of the dark skies still found in Minnesota's border country. The program will end with a 30-min award-winning film that tells the story of the first image captured of the Earth from space in 1968, as recalled by the Apollo 8 astronauts: Earthrise - The Image That Shared Our World and inspired the first Earth


Travis Novitsky is a life-long resident of the north shore of Lake Superior and a citizen of the Grand Portage Anishinabe Nation. A self-taught nature and wildlife photographer, he has been photographing the night sky for over 20 years. Joel Halvorson, UMD, has been teaching and developing educational programs for 35 years. He is developing the Boreal Observatory as part of UMD's support for Dark Sky preservation in the region.

Voyageurs National Park is working to secure Dark Sky Park certification from the International

Dark Sky Association. The program is offered in celebration of the park and VNPA's Dark Sky Initiative. This effort will help preserve darkness for people and wildlife at Voyageurs by making park facilities dark sky friendly, supporting community outreach and business engagement to reduce light pollution and promote sustainable dark sky tourism, and growing educational opportunities on the preservation of our nocturnal environment for its scientific, cultural, historical, and natural values.

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