Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Texas Trailblazes with Dark Sky Parks

Two Texas State Parks are the newest IDA certified Dark Sky Places (the town of Sedona, AZ made the list just last week thanks to the dedicated efforts of Keep Sedona Beautiful).  Improving on the parks' lighting to reduce glare and uplight (while saving energy and money) enhances the quality of star gazing and expands tourism for night sky programming and activities.  Even if you're not an amateur astronomer, who wants to travel to a state park to escape the suburbs or city only to have  bare floodlights or a dusk to dawn glarebomb despoiling your campsite or cabin?  Unfortunately this has been my experience in every overnight visit to a Virginia state park.  We have glorious parks with well-earned excellent reputations--so many options within reasonable reach of most parts of the state provide for recreation and respite. But too often the respite does not extend to intrusive artificial light at night.  Take it from Texas---curbing light pollution and valuing the natural resource of the night and its sky are good for business.
Learn more about IDA's Dark Places and the Texas State Parks Dark Sky Program.