The leader of Michigan’s only International Dark Sky Park has resigned. Mary Stewart Adams served as program director at the Emmet County-owned park for nine years.
Adams says a “difference in philosophy” with county leaders led to her resignation Monday.
“It’s unfortunate that it had to come to this,” says Adams. “My understanding was that we would stay in conversation with one another, and that while I needed to hear from them what I could be doing better, they also needed to hear that from me. But it felt very much like a one-sided conversation.”
Last year, the county opened a new $7 million observatory building at the site and hired Adams as a full-time county employee.
“There was confusion around what the building was going to be for,” says Adams. “Was it an education center? Was it a rental facility? Was it a visitors’ center? So the mission for it kind of got lost.”
The county is now charging for programs and parking at the park.
County Administrator John Calabrese declined to comment for this story.
Adams is a contributor to Interlochen Public Radio.