April 15-22 is International Dark Sky Week in Cook County

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Starting Saturday, residents and visitors to Cook County will spend a week recognizing and celebrating the night sky.

Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County, said Cook County commissioners and the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa adopted a proclamation declaring April 15-22 as International Dark Sky Week.

“We are one of the darkest skies in not only the nation but the world. We’re the 13th designated International Dark Sky with the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness,” Jurek said. “We are so appreciative of our dark sky. So to have this proclamation in place really solidifies our appreciation and our respect for nature and our surroundings in the dark sky above us.”

Jurek said the week wouldn’t have happened without the local chapter of Starry Skies North. They also helped launch Cook County’s Dark Sky Festival, which happens the first weekend in December.

“We have a wonderful dark sky viewing map,” Jurek said, referencing VisitCookCounty.com. “So we’ve taken the time to find areas that you can have a beautiful view north to Northern Lights, dark skies, and just that wonderment.”

For more information about International Dark Sky Week, click here.