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Fairfax County Park Authority, Dark Skies’ Webpage

Photo/Image: Courtesy of Fairfax County Park Authority

WHAT IS LIGHT POLLUTION?

Light Pollution is defined by the International Dark Sky Association as the inappropriate or excessive use of artificial light which can have serious environmental consequences for humans, wildlife, and our climate. It’s caused by the excessive and inefficient use of artificial light at night.

This webpage provides detailed information on a variety of topics related to light pollution.

A sample of the site’s contents are listed below:
  • LIGHT POLLUTION COMPONENTS
  • EFFECTS OF LIGHT POLLUTION
  • THE IMPORTANCE OF DARK SKY CONSERVATION EFFORTS
  • TIPS:  WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
  • DARK SKY FRIENDLY OUTDOOR LIGHTING PRINCIPLES

Please take some time to browse through this very informative and comprehensive website,

McLean Gears Up for Dark Sky Celebration, November 12th

Photo: Courtesy of Fairfax County Park Authority

Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022
6:30pm – 8:30pm

Lewinsville Historic House
1659 Chain Bridge Road
McLean, Virginia 22101

Register here.

 

Dark skies are the natural state of nature. Over time, humans have increased the amount of light shining into the sky all night long. This excessive light has robbed us of the glimpse of our stars and endangered the natural world around us. We can have dark skies again if we learn to control light pollution with responsible outdoor lighting practices.

The Fairfax County Park Authority is partnering with the McLean Citizens Association, Dark Sky Friends and the Analemma Society to host a celebration of the importance of dark skies.

Come to the historic house in Lewinsville Park on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, to learn about the importance of dark skies in your community. The free event will have hands-on activities and educational opportunities about how to protect the night sky. Learn about nighttime wildlife and constellations. Come experience the night with us and enjoy a small campfire and cocoa. The event runs from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m.

There is no cost to the “Dark Sky Celebration” program, and registration is not required but is encouraged. By signing up, we can notify you in case of inclement weather. The rain date is the following day on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022.

To learn more about the importance of dark skies, visit the Dark Skies webpage.

Dark Skies and Birds – Writers Needed

Photo:  Luke Franke
Fairfax County Park Authority is expanding its education on the importance of dark skies. Light pollution has negative effects on wildlife, plants, people, energy consumption, and human health. They are looking to celebrate international dark sky awareness week Home – International Dark Sky Week with some educational blogs and events.
Are there any Bird lovers out there who would be willing to write a blog (300-500 words) for the park authority about the effect of light pollution on birds?
This is a good year to do this as National Audubon Society is partnering on this effort as well as being the theme for this years world migratory bird day.
Notify Tammy Schwab at tammy.schwab@fairfaxcounty.gov  if you are interested.
World Migratory Bird Day 2022 is focusing on the impacts of light pollution on migratory birds. Artificial light is increasing globally by at least two percent a year, presenting a problem for birds. Here are four simple actions everyone can take to help birds at night.
1. Reduce the amount of light outside your home or place of business. Turn off all non-essential nighttime lights. For essential lights, such as security lighting, use timers or motion detectors to keep usage to a minimum. And always use the minimum wattage necessary for the task at hand.
2. Change the color of your lights from cool to warm. Studies suggest that green and blue light attracts more nocturnally migrating birds than red, orange, or yellow light. Use light bulbs that emit warm lighting to minimize disturbance to birds.
3. Direct all lighting downward. Place lights to illuminate the floor or ground and use lighting shields to prevent shining into the sky.
4. Share the message to “dim the lights for birds at night.” Throughout the year we will highlight the steps that individuals and communities can take to reduce the impacts of light pollution on our shared birds. Share these messages through social media and other outlets to increase awareness of this important issue.
For more information on light pollution and how to fight this totally reversible type of pollution visit the international International Dark Sky Association – International Dark-Sky Association and for a local perspective learn more about Fairfax county’s outdoor lighting standards here Outdoor Lighting Standards | Planning Development (fairfaxcounty.gov)