Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dark Sky Regulations?

What does Fredericksburg's City Council have to do with Enchanted Rock?

Fredericksburg's significant and increasing sky glow lights up the Park at night.  The Friends and others have been working to get the City of Fredericksburg to adopt an ordinance regulating the use of outdoor lighting.  The Park has applied to be designated as a Dark Sky Park.  Texas Parks and Wildlife is working to minimize the effects of outdoor lighting at E Rock and their other parks.  If you want to know more about why the loss of dark nights is a problem for both people and the natural world, even down to drops in firefly populations, check out the IDA website

Most dark sky solutions are quite simple - shielding lights so they don't shine up, across property lines, or in your eyes as you walk or drive by.  My friends at H&R Block in Fredericksburg installed the shield on their parking lot lighting - drive by and check it out (E Highway Street just east of Hwy 87).  I think Robert said the shields, which he installed himself, were $30 each.  You could make them in a simple workshop for much less.  You will notice the light on the surface of the parking lot but not in your face or up in the sky or on the neighbor's property. 

Go outside and look at your lights: are you lighting up the sky, your neighbor's house, or shining light in people's eyes?  Are you diminishing the quality of life in your neighborhood?  Wherever you live, start asking local government to turn the lights down.  Hill Country Alliance has been organizing this effort in the Texas Hill Country.

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