Hill Country Dark Night Skies Initiatives Gain Momentum in Real and Surrounding Counties
Resolutions supporting efforts to preserve our Dark Night Skies in the Texas Hill Country have been adopted by Real County, City of Leakey, City of Camp Wood, Keep It Real Beautiful (KIRB), Keep Utopia Beautiful (KUB), and The Hill Country River Region. Why is this important? It means our communities recognize the importance of decreasing light pollution to preserve our beautiful natural resource, the sky, and to promote tourism, save energy/money, and enhance the health of our native wildlife. Local businesses are paying attention to lighting, balancing business development and safety with efforts to reduce sky glow over our cities and towns caused by misdirected light escaping up to the skies instead of where it is needed.
Garner State Park is actively pursuing an International Dark Sky Park designation and Lost Maples State Natural Area, South Llano River State Park, and Hill Country State Natural Area are already designated by the International Dark Skies Association, part of a growing movement in Texas to preserve our starry night skies. The Texas Hill Country is literally on the “Edge of Night”, as the light of the cities to the east and south creep into the darker skies. Garner State Park (GSP) is currently ranked as “Class 4” on the Bortle scale, widely used to rate the darkness of a site. This means GSP is classified as a “Rural/suburban transition” area, still a great location for star gazing and wildlife preservation, but rapidly changing. This trend toward fairly obvious light pollution domes over nearby towns such as Leakey and Uvalde can be reversed, which can result in improvement to a Class 3 Rural Sky, which GSP could boast not too long ago!
How can you help?
- Start with your own home or business – use light when and where it is needed, with shielding and downward direction of lighting. Install motion detector lights or timers if able.
- Talk to your friends and neighbors whose lighting may spill onto your property, an example of Light Trespass.
- Support the resolutions and/or ordinances to reverse light pollution.
For a copy of “Better Lights for Better Nights”, a guide to night sky friendly lights and/or shields, email a request to .