Defending the Dark

Preserving the Night Sky in Maine

Watch The Trailer

Defending the Dark inspires and informs viewers on why it is important to preserve dark sky areas, while emphasizing the unique dark sky environment of northern Maine.

Dark Skies benefit wildlife and their habitats, reduces health and safety risks to humans, saves energy, and reduces costs. Light pollution has devastating effects on migrating birds, native plants, and pollinators. Defending the Dark tells the story of protecting the dark sky areas of Maine – the last such areas in the US east of the Rocky Mountains, and what we can do in our own backyards to bring back the night sky. It's more than just saving the stars: Dark skies need to be protected for our health, safety, nature, and science.

Film Festival Official Selections

We are excited to announce our official selection into these film festivals

Maine International Film Festival (World Premiere July 2022)

Full Bloom Film Festival, NC (Sept 2022)

Berkeley Springs Film Festival, WV (Oct 2022)

Women Director's Film Carnival, New Delhi, India (Dec 2022)

Borrego Springs Film Festival, CA (Jan 2023)

Cabin Fever Film Festival, VA (Jan 2023)

Oxford Film Festival, MS (Mar 2023)

Upcoming Screenings

For updates on future screenings follow our facebook page.

To schedule a screening in your community visit


Mountains of Stars offers astronomy-based programs and activities to help people better understand humankind’s place on Earth and our connection with the environment. As society becomes more technological and our impact on the environment grows, understanding science and our interaction with the environment is more critical than ever.

We offer lectures and presentations, hands-on activities, daytime and nighttime telescope observing, planetarium programs, workshops, and demonstrations for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Dark Sky Maine, a 501c3 nonprofit, promotes an appreciation of the night sky through education and by supporting measures that use appropriate lighting to provide security on the ground, promote the health of humans and nocturnal wildlife, while maintaining dark skies overhead.

By following the guidelines of current scientific research, we help Maine communities understand the benefits of efficient, safe lighting. Good lighting benefits healthy economic development and maintains Maine’s dark sky heritage.

Bureau of Parks and Lands manages Maine’s 48 State Parks and offers telescopes for visitors to use at the 12 State Parks with campgrounds.

What they do: Promote health and nature appreciation through outdoor recreation events and programs. - Generate $100 million annually for the Maine economy. - Help over 2 million people each year enjoy Maine’s natural heritage

Learn More

The International Dark-Sky Association provides guidelines for good outdoor lighting practices and oversees the Dark Sky Place program that includes Dark Sky Parks, Dark Sky Reserves, and more.


The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund Grant

The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund (MOHF) helps fund critical wildlife and conservation projects throughout Maine.

Revenue is generated exclusively by a dedicated instant lottery ticket distributed by the Maine State Lottery. Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund

Your True Nature

Your True Nature, committed to sharing the wisdom of the Earth through Advice for Life greeting cards, bookmarks, stickers and magnets.

To see their night sky themed, and other nature themed products visit:


The Dark Skies of Maine

The wood of northern Maine is the only remaining truly dark sky region east of the Rockies in the United States, and its accessibility to a large fraction of the US population makes it a desirable destination for those seeking a nature experience. The ongoing astronomy and nature education programs in the area, including the Mountains of Stars programs at the Appalachian Mountain Club lodges and camps, and other activities and events held in the region such as the Stars over Katahdin, highlight to visitors the unique character of the Maine night sky environment - and the risks associated with losing that environment if poor and excessive lighting is implemented. The creation of the AMC Maine Woods International Dark Sky Park and the Katahdin Woods and Waters International Dark Sky Sanctuary are critical elements in keeping the area’s skies pristine - and offer the opportunity to draw new visitors to the area, build an industry of astrotourism, and promote behavioral changes among guests to reduce light pollution across the country.


About the Filmmaker

Tara Roberts Zabriskie is an independent documentary filmmaker and freelance video producer. She works with organizations to create videos for educational and promotional purposes. Some of her work includes filming a 3000 mile bicycle race across the country, covering sailing races in the Caribbean, and creating a series of videos on Leave No Trace for hikers produced for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Her latest work, Defending the Dark, is a 30 minute documentary film about why light pollution is harmful to humans and wildlife, and explains simple things you can do in your own back yard to bring back the night sky.

As an independent artist Tara has produced videos and photos for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the National Park Service, the Massachusetts Audubon Society and many small businesses and organizations. Her photos were selected to be published in the book The Appalachian Trail: Backcountry Shelters, Lean-tos, and Huts, and the publications Sailing Magazine, and Sailing World.



Defending the Dark Photo Gallery