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Huron Fringe Field Naturalists learn about dark skies

September 30, 2022

The wet weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the 45 members of the Huron Fringe Field Naturalists who gathered Tuesday evening for a presentation on the importance of preserving dark skies.

Bluewater Astronomical Society president Devin Glew of Kincardine and Sue MacLaughlan of Hamilton made a compelling case for the need to preserve the night skies, using startling illustrations of light pollution from satellite images, sky glow maps and photographs.

After explaining the four types of light pollution, they highlighted the negative effects on wildlife, human health, safety, energy costs and heritage. Glew and MacLaughlan also provided a list of solutions to reduce pollution through simple lighting changes, and encouraged members to engage with their communities and neighbours to find solutions.

The original plan was to have several telescopes set up in the side yard of the Ripley-Huron Community Centre for viewing after the presentation, but the overcast skies precluded this. However, members were invited to attend a viewing event in Kincardine the following week.

The Bluewater Astronomical Society has been promoting the enjoyment of star-gazing for more than 30 years, for members and Bruce County schoolchildren. The society operates the E.S. Fox Observatory at the Bluewater Outdoor Education Centre near Oliphant, and members actively advocate for dark skies in the Grey-Bruce area. The society’s website,, contains many useful links and information for astronomers.

The Huron Fringe Field Naturalists welcomed many new members this fall but there’s always room for more. Those interested in learning about, and enjoying, nature are encouraged to visit the club’s website: for membership and contact information.

Several outings are planned for October, including two walks and the annual fall birding event.

The next meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m., in the auditorium of the Ripley-Huron Community Centre. Rhea Seeger will introduce the group to Green Goderich, a grassroots organization that promotes and educates on environmental issues. Visitors and guests are welcome to attend.

Huron Fringe Field Naturalists speaker co-chairperson, Jayne Miltenburg (left), talks to Bluewater Astronomical Society president Devin Glew, following the presentation; photos by Christine Roberts

Title page of the Bluewater Astronomical Society’s presentation to the Huron Fringe Field Naturalists, Tuesday evening.

Jane Neilsen (centre), speaker co-chairperson with the Huron Fringe Field Naturalists, welcomes Devin Glew and Sue MacLaughlan, Bluewater Astronomical Society presenters

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