17 Hill Country Communities Represented at Regional Dark Sky Conference in Fredericksburg
Seventeen communities across the region attended the Hill Country Dark Sky Conference in Fredericksburg on Friday, May 19th, including Bandera, Blanco, Boerne, Castroville, Dripping Springs, Fredericksburg, Johnson City, Junction, Kerrville, and Wimberley. The elected officials, city staff, and volunteers in attendance discussed strategies for raising awareness, directing new development towards good lighting, and working with utilities that provide street lighting. Representatives of Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Central Texas Electric Cooperative, and Bandera Electric Cooperative were also in attendance.
The initial idea for the conference came from Kent Myers, Fredericksburg’s City Manager. “We know how important the Dark Sky initiative is to us here in Fredericksburg, with Enchanted Rock just up the road. But I think we can do more here and I believe Hill Country communities will be more effective at preserving our night skies if we work together,” Myers said.
“There are more community efforts to preserve the night sky in the Hill Country than there are in any other similarly sized region on earth.” That was the message from Dr. John Barentine, Program Manager for the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), at the Hill Country Dark Sky Conference. “And, as this region grows, these efforts will pay off in a higher quality of life, energy savings, increased tourism, and a night sky worthy of our children’s wonder. But we must continue our efforts to enjoy these benefits in the future.” Read more about the effort to preserve the night sky in the Hill Country.
For more information on the regional work to preserve Hill Country night skies, visit www.hillcountrynightskies.org.