(April 30, 2014) A dark night sky full of big bright stars is important here in the Hill Country, just like clean rivers, scenic vistas and natural landscapes. Little by little, light-by-light, the magical mystery of the Texas night sky is diminishing. But it’s not too late to reverse this trend. Directing lights downward, shielding and turning them off when not needed makes make a big difference.
Learn how you can do your part reduce light pollution. Bill Wren of the McDonald Observatory, known as the “ambassador of the night sky,” will share his expertise about simple strategies to protect starry skies. “It’s a ‘win-win’ situation” says Wren. “We can have effective, cost-efficient lighting without polluting the night sky.”
Four events will take place the week of May 12th – 16th in Fredericksburg, Llano, Marble Falls and at the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. “Our Team of HCA Night Sky advocates are so blessed to have Bill Wren travel to the Hill Country to teach and inspire our communities about this issue,” says Christy Muse of the Hill Country Alliance. “This program is one of our most widely popular educational efforts; we are discovering a growing regional consensus about the importance of protecting the Night Sky.”
Schedule of events:
Monday, May 12th at 6:30pm, Hill Country University Center in Fredericksburg – Download Flyer
Tuesday, May 13th at 5:30pm, Llano County Library in Llano – Download Flyer
Wednesday, May 14th at 6:30pm, the Lakeside Pavilion in Marble Falls – Download Flyer
Friday, May 16th at 7:30pm, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area Pavilion – Download Flyer
HCA has been partnering with the McDonald Observatory and local Hill Country community organization’s creating an entire menu of programs aimed at reducing light pollution. Workshops have recently been held from Uvalde, to Junction, San Antonio to Austin and Mason to San Marcos. A “Night Sky Co-op” was formed in 2011 where landowners and businesses take a voluntary pledge to end light trespass from their land. In 2012, a new chamber of commerce recognition program was created where businesses are acknowledged for being night sky friendly. Communities are passing supportive resolutions and some are considering protective ordinances such as the award winning effort in Dripping Springs.
More information about protecting the Night Skies of the Hill Country can be found at http://www.hillcountrynightskies.org