Get Involved with Night Skies Preservation
Working with Your Community
There are many ways to get involved in night sky preservation, from improvements at your home, to working with your neighbors, to rallying your community and setting it on the right path as it grows. Learn more about how Hill Country Alliance and local communities are preserving our region’s night skies and how you can get involved below.
Hill Country Alliance Recognition Programs
Join the ever-expanding group of landowners, businesses, and communities that have pledged to preserve the Hill Country night sky. Read on and become a Night Sky Steward, learn more about our Night Sky Friendly Business, or join our Neighborhood Recognition Programs.
This program recognizes subdivisions and neighborhoods that adopt the County Subdivision and Night Sky Friendly Neighborhood outdoor lighting policy into their homeowners agreements or deed restrictions. For more information or for assistance working with subdivision developers in your county to preserve Hill Country night skies, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Night Sky Friendly Business Recognition Program is a cooperative program between some Hill Country Chambers of Commerce and the Hill Country Alliance to recognize businesses and organizations that have night sky-friendly outdoor lighting and to encourage others to follow suit.
Night Sky Stewards
Join the Hill Country Night Stewards, a group of landowners, businesses and communities who have pledged their commitment to protecting the night skies.
Friends of the Night Sky Groups
Hill Country Friends of the Night Sky groups are the local voices for night sky preservation in our region. They are the educators, the advocates, and the conveners that work with schools, chambers of commerce, local governments, and other community partners to advance night skies preservation at the local level and help to establish local ordinances, resolutions, and dark sky designations.
The Hill Country Alliance is here to support all of the Friends of the Night Sky groups and to help establish new groups where they do not yet exist. Please connect with the existing groups through the links below. If you want help starting a Friends group in your county, or you simply want to learn more, email us at email@example.com. We would love to work with you!
Hill Country Night Sky Month
October is Hill Country Night Sky Month, an annual celebration of our region’s night skies and of the hard work that Hill Country communities do to preserve it. Check out the Hill Country Night Sky Month page to learn more!
International Dark Sky Association
Join the Texas Chapter of the International Dark Sky Association and get support from the worldwide network of IDA Advocates. Help your community become an IDA Dark Sky Place through the International Dark-Sky Association Dark-Sky Places Program. This program works to encourage neighborhoods, communities, parks and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect night skies through responsible lighting policies and public education. If you need support in applying for one of these designations, contact the Hill Country Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The IDA Texas ‘Be a Star’ award offers an easy way to evaluate your own property’s outdoor lighting and show your support for the cause. Download the ‘Be a Star’ award application here. If you want to engage your neighbors about their lighting, this sample neighbor letter, offers a good way to begin as well as the IDA Home Lighting Assessment.
Participation in citizen science has become an increasingly popular and fun way to be involved in important scientific research and help night sky conservation efforts. Visit Globe at Night and Lost at Night to learn how you can contribute to light pollution research through citizen science.
Recent Night Sky News
The city of Blanco in Blanco County has joined four other Texas cities — all in the Hill Country as well — as the latest to be granted the sought-after International Dark Sky Community designation. The International Dark-Sky Association announced this week that the...
Editorial by Soll Sussman, Hays County Friends of the Night Sky Protecting the night sky is not just about the stars, as magnificent as the sight of them might be. In Hays County, the fastest growing county in Texas and in the country for that matter, we’re working to...
DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas — Booming population growth and sprawling development, groundwater depletion, changing climate patterns, extreme droughts and floods, and a unique set of policy challenges threaten the natural resources that define the Hill County...
They called him the Angel of Darkness. But this astronomer just wanted to keep West Texas skies pure.
Bill Wren remembers exactly where he was when he was first called the Angel of Darkness. He doesn't remember the year, but it was at a Texas Star Party, an annual gathering of 500 or so amateur astronomers held at the Prude Ranch in Fort Davis, Texas. Wren, a longtime...