2 State Parks Win International Dark-Sky Awards

Taken from the Texas Parks Getaways Newsletter:

night sky at Enchanted RockThe stars have gotten even easier to see atCopper Breaks State Park and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Each has received gold-tier status from the International Dark Sky Parks Program of the International Dark-sky Association. Already known for their stargazing programs, they now have adjusted park lighting to provide safety and visibility for visitors without creating light pollution.

These two properties join Big Bend National Park and the City of Dripping Springs as the only locations in Texas to have earned the coveted Dark Sky Places recognition. The awards are the first for land managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Lighting improvements not only save energy, but also assure that visitors from the city experience a night sky uninterrupted by bright lights and skyscrapers. Learn more about the Dark Skies Program and the negative effects of light on visibility, wildlife, human health and energy use.

Celebrate fall with a star walk or star party. Find one near you on the Stargazing Events Calendar.

If you live in, or near, a big city  you know how hard it is to see the stars, much less the Milky Way. It’s great to hear our State Parks and Natural Areas are working hard to keep down the light pollution for all us star gazers. Texas has three parks now designated as gold-tier Certified International Dark Skies Parks.  That’s 3 parks out of 12 in the world with Big Bend having the darkest measured skies in the lower 48 states! Very Cool!

We live about 45 minutes from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, so seeing the Milky Way from our house, even though we live in the country, is impossible. However, if we drive another hour to the West, to the Brazos River below Possum Kingdom Lake, we can!  On a past kayak camping trip down the river, we experimented with some night photography. This was our attempt at time lapse! Not great, but fun! We can’t wait to get that trailer hitched up and take advantage of our beautiful Texas dark skies…Happy Trails!