Milky Way and Rugged Mountain Peaks (Photo) Credit Adventure_Photo (iStock)

International Dark Sky Communities

Places designated as an International Dark Sky Community are cities and towns that implement lighting ordinances and take efforts to educate residents about the importance of dark skies.

Photo Credit: Adventure_Photo (iStock).

The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) officially named the Top of the Pines natural space (TOP) in southwestern Colorado as the state's newest Dark Sky Park on Tuesday.

Top of the Pines is a 175-acre recreation area located in Ouray County and is the sixth location in Colorado to be certified as a Dark Sky Park, including Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Curecanti National Recreation Area, Slumgullion Center, and Hovenweep National Monument. 

“We are excited and honored that IDA has elected to welcome Top of the Pines into the IDA Dark Sky Places Program,” said TOP Board President Brad Wallis.

“It’s a significant accomplishment and TOP’s Dark-Sky friendly policies will help protect and preserve its incredible star-filled sky. I’d like to thank the County BOCC and the other TOP board members that made this possible," he said.

The International Dark Sky Association is an organization designed to encourage the preservation and protection of dark sites by implementing lighting policies, environmentally responsible outdoor lighting, and public education. 

"When used indiscriminately, artificial light can disrupt ecosystems, impact human health, waste money and energy, contribute to climate change, and block our view and connection to the universe,' the organization said in a news release. 

The organization cited TOP's 'exceptional dedication and commitment' to maintaining dark skies as the reason for designating the space into the program.

See where this park is located below:

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