Lifestyle

Texas Public Venues Get Dark Sky Designations in Preserving Natural Beauty of the Night Sky

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Stargazing can be such a sweet celestial experience, and in Texas, even more so. A number of places throughout the state help to magnify the opportunity to see those big and bright beauties even more, as designated International Dark Sky Parks.

Texas Public Venues Get Dark Sky Designations In Preserving Natural Beauty of the Night Sky

Photo: Facebook/Pat Cassity

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) out of Tucson, AZ promotes night sky observation and conservation, along with environmentally friendly and responsible outdoor lighting in efforts to protect against light pollution. The Texas Hill Country’s own Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, as well as the Panhandle’s Copper Breaks State Park became the first of Texas’ state parks to be designated International Dark Sky Parks by the organization which gave them its highest, Gold-Tier status. Prior to that, Big Bend National Park, as well as the City of Dripping Springs also earned recognition from the IDA which is phenomenal for their Texas Night Sky Festival that took place earlier this month.

Texas Public Venues Get Dark Sky Designations In Preserving Natural Beauty of the Night Sky

Photo: Facebook/The Nousgroup

Over the years, Enchanted Rock and Copper Breaks have held regular star-gazing events and programs, engaging and educating the public regarding the concept of minimizing light pollution and preserving the night skies. Doing so makes the viewing of stars, constellations, planets, and other celestial objects possible. Rapidly becoming a national example in this movement, these parks and communities, as well as their staff, are dedicated to taking significant steps as well as educating policymakers on the value of preserving this fine Texas feature. This includes the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department which has developed light management plans and policies to address light pollution in at least 95 state parks, including partnering with the McDonald Observatory and the state’s chapter of the IDA to implement these policies.

Texas Public Venues Get Dark Sky Designations In Preserving Natural Beauty of the Night Sky
Photo: Facebook/Todd Ehrlich

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