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Starry night in woods

Defend Your Right to See the Stars


The International Dark Sky Program is devoted to protecting the parts of the world that allow us to see the stars.

With all the environmentalist programs that protect the forests, oceans and rivers, we often forget that we also have to protect that which does not immediately strike us as relevant for the planet’s health, but which nonetheless is essential to its euphony: the darkness of the skies. The International Dark Sky Places Program (IDA) does precisely this; an organization devoted to promoting the preservation and protection of the night around the world.

The program is comprised by three different areas; communities, parks and reserves. The IDA’s parks and reserves are home to some of the darkest and most pristine skies in the world. The program’s communities are full of people who are concerned with the many factors that depend on the sky’s darkness and, while their sky might not be perfect, they remain examples of how a city can bring light to the streets without affecting the sky that covers them.

These places serve as reminders of how, without the sky and its celestial bodies to inspire us, a great part of the Earth’s history would never have been written. Art, culture, music and literature would never have been created. Additionally, among other things, the night sky connects us to the past and the future; when we turn and see the sky, stars and planets, we see the same bodies that stargazer saw many generations before, and which many generation to come will still see. The act of exploring the sky is as ancient as humanity, and it has been, more than anything else, the source of creativity. This is the reason why the IDA program wants to protect locations with exceptional views of the night sky, and they propose programs designed inspire others to appreciate the sky and return the sky to children and people who inhabit cities.

Among the communities that the IDA protects from the light are Isle of Coll, Scotland, Dripping Springs, Texas, Isle of Sark, Homer Glen, Illinois, Borrego Spring, California and Flagstaff, in Arizona. Their parks and reserves can be found here.

Any person can register themselves or their city if they wish to help save the skies, one star at a time. There will be few other endeavors as healthy or as poetic as reclaiming the world’s nights.

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