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New DarkSky Texas lighting initiative will have local impact

New DarkSky Texas lighting initiative will have local impact

Sunday, May 19, 2024

DarkSky Texas announces the new Better Outdoor Lighting Design Initiative intended to reach more Texans about ways to improve outdoor lighting to benefit ourselves, the economy and nature.

“DarkSky Texas represents the recognized global authority on better lighting to reduce light pollution,” said Cindy Luongo Cassidy, Dark-Sky Texas president and Hays County Friends of the Night Sky board member. “Reducing the negative impact of manmade light at night benefits human health and wildlife. It reduces energy usage, protects our heritage of the natural night sky, and improves our ability to see, thus improving safety.”

Luongo Cassidy said this will have local implications through the BOLD partners with offices, employees, volunteers or the public.

“As statewide businesses that are BOLD Initiative partners take advantage of the better lighting principles fostered through the initiative, Hays County citizens who frequent those businesses will be able to see better while having less glare and less light trespass,” Luongo Cassidy said.

Education will go a long way toward decreasing light pollution. Through the BOLD Initiative project, Luongo Cassidy said national experts are creating advanced training workshops with Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners and Audubon members in mind.

“This workshop will be offered to our Hays County memberships,” Luongo Cassidy said. The knowledge that the members of these organizations gain can be applied throughout the county by these active volunteers. The more each of us sees examples of better lighting, the more we become aware that we too can have outdoor lights without glare and light trespass and that minimize harm to all living things including ourselves.”

The all-volunteer, non-profit organization designed the BOLD Initiative to collaborate with businesses, conservation organizations, local governments, and other Texans who strive to care for our State’s fantastic night skies. DarkSky Texas will partner with and celebrate those eager to chip away at their artificial light footprint and educate their employees and the public about how they can do it too.

Luongo Cassidy said Hays County Friends of the Night Sky is in partnership with DarkSky Texas and several of the members will join members of DarkSky Texas working on BOLD Initiative teams.

“As this BOLD Initiative spreads in Hays County, we will all be able to see better around us and have the potential to see more of our shared view of the universe,” she said.

Luongo Cassidy said the group invites interested individuals to be trained to work on the BOLD initiative by requesting to be added to the volunteer pool and then signing up for training to do lighting assessments, educational delivery or design educational displays about why and how to follow the Five Principles of Responsible Outdoor Lighting. She said new Hays County Friends of the Night Sky volunteers should send an email to asking to join.

Interested potential partners may sign up for the BOLD Initiative through the DarkSky Texas website. The organization’s team will work with BOLD partners to design a customized solution to help them adjust their existing lights, minimize their environmental impact and lower their electricity bills. The DarkSky Texas team will also collaborate with BOLD Initiative partners to integrate science-based dark sky education into their inhouse and public facing messaging.

DarkSky Texas is in the midst of a major donor drive to carry out its mission. The organization, formerly known as IDA Texas since its founding 25 years ago, is the only chapter of DarkSky International in Texas.

Steadily increasing use of Artificial Light at Night now means that 99% of people in Europe and North America live under light polluted skies. Dark-sky friendly lighting can be used without polluting our natural night skies and allows us to see better.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666