Richard Bong State Recreation Area is located in the town of Brighton, in Kenosha County, just west of Lake Michigan. This managed prairie is a 4,500-acre (1,800 ha) unit of the state park system of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. It contains 8.3 miles (13 km) of mountain bike trails and is popular for a variety of recreational activities such as high power rocketry, swimming, dogsledding, falconry, ATV sports, land sailing, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, camping with amenities, and ultralight aviation. Every clear Saturday evening from Spring through Fall, the Richard Bong Astronomy Association hosts an informal gathering of campers and others who are interested in/curious about astronomy. This includes a brief tour of the current night’s highlights and stargazing through telescopes. The skies are good enough to watch the Milky Way, nebulae, galaxies and open and globular clusters (for more info, go to http://www.bsraaa.org). This area was once designated to be a jet fighter base, and was named after Major Richard I. Bong, a Poplar, WI native who was America’s leading air ace during World War II.
Chelynne Campion is a Production/ Sales Assistant for EarthSky. Her family just purchased a telescope, and she's now learning to be a stargazer!