Stephen F. Wessling Observatory & Kropscott Farm Environmental Center
Follow the stars… in Newaygo County’s “Dark Skies”
An astronomical observatory is highly unique for a rural county and we are fortunate to have such a facility, right here in Newaygo County!
The Stephen F. Wessling Observatory (SFW), completed in 2005, is located six miles north of the city of Fremont, Michigan, on the corner of Baseline and Stone Road. The Observatory is located on the Kropscott Farm donated to the Newaygo Conservation District by Earle and Mildred Kropscott. The SFW Observatory’s goal is to provide the general public, area students, and and regional amateur astronomers the opportunity to observe and study the amazing universe in which we live. Newaygo County is blessed with “dark skies”, therefore interested people from west Michigan, northern Indiana and eastern Illinois also visit the observatory. The observatory contains numerous telescopes of all designs and sizes, from an 18” reflector scope to several 6” to 8” scopes.The Newaygo County Dark Sky Astronomers (NCDSA) operate the observatory on behalf of the conservation district and welcome new members of all ages and interest levels, from the first-time astronomer to the serious observer.
The Kropscott Farm Environmental Center
The Kropscott Farm Environmental Center (KFEC) is located 6 miles north of the city of Fremont, Michigan, on the corner of Baseline and Stone Road. The centennial farm, owned by the same family for over a hundred years, was donated to the Newaygo Conservation District (NCD) by Earle and Mildred Kropscott in 1998. Today, the property is widely known as the Kropscott Farm Environmental Center. All together the Kropscott Farm Environmental Center contains an operating farm, a 30+ acre woods (soon to include a primitive campsite) with nature trails, an observatory, and an environmental educational institute. In 2016, the KFEC barn was renovated and is now a major demonstration area with internet access, LCD projector/screen and amplifier/speakers. All of the buildings and areas within the KFEC are handicapped accessible.