Sue Bennett has had the pleasure of enjoying and sharing many starry
evenings over the past twenty three years with national park visitors in
places such as Everglades, Great Smokies and Mount Rainier National Parks,
along with Assateague Island National Seashore, Carl Sandburg Home National
Historic Site and Washington D.C.  Currently serving as the Chief of
Interpretation and Education at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, she is
happy to be returning to her Midwest roots, though saddened that the Milky
Way over Chicagoland does not match the memories of her youth.
National parks hold some of the last remaining harbors of darkness and
provide an excellent opportunity for the public to experience this
endangered resource. The National Park Service is dedicated to protecting
and sharing this resource for the enjoyment of current and future
We use the term “natural lightscape” to describe resources and values that
exist in the absence of human-caused light at night. Natural lightscapes
are important for enjoying nighttime scenery, but can also be critical
refuges for many wildlife species relying on natural patterns of light and
dark for navigation, to cue behaviors, or to hide from predators.
Nightscapes can also reflect the rich shared cultural heritage inspired by
centuries of observation, becoming integral to the historical fabric of a
More information about the National Park Service management of natural
sound and lightscapes can be found at