Hill Country Night Sky Proclamation

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PROCLAMATION

OF THE UBarU Camp & Retreat Center

PROCLAIMING OCTOBER 2020 AS

 

“Hill Country Night Sky Month”

 

WHEREAS,    the aesthetic beauty and wonder of star-filled skies are the heritage of all humankind and locally to the inhabitants of the Texas Hill County and are therefore worthy of celebration; and

 

WHEREAS,    the experience of standing beneath a star-filled night sky inspires feelings of wonder and awe, and may encourage interest in science and nature especially among young people; and

 

WHEREAS,    the opportunity to view star-filled skies attracts tourists to our region and therefore economic benefit to the Texas Hill County; and

 

WHEREAS,    preserving the rich historic heritage and starry night skies of the Hill County is important to its citizens; and

 

WHEREAS,    “light pollution,” which is wasted energy that performs no function or task and artificial light that goes where it is not supposed to go, creates glare, light trespass, sky glow, and overlighting; and

 

WHEREAS,    light pollution wastes natural resources amounting to at least $2 billion per year and contributes to diminished American energy independence; and

 

WHEREAS,    the historical view of the night skies has been eroding in many nearby areas and generations are growing up with limited, if any, view of the wonders of the universe; and                                                   

 

WHEREAS,    the influx of people into the Texas Hill Country and the accompanying light pollution from area lighting fixtures has been steadily on the rise; and

 

WHEREAS,    solving the problem of light pollution involves making better use of outdoor lighting to direct light down to where it is needed instead of upward into the sky, putting outdoor lights on timers and using outdoor lighting only where necessary; and

 

WHEREAS,    Hill Country communities are increasingly dedicated to the preservation of the region’s night skies, as evidenced by the frequent educational activities conducted in our region and by the increasing number of places in our region recognized as International Dark-Sky Places by the International Dark-Sky Association, including: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, South Llano State Park, the City of Dripping Springs, the Wimberley Valley, the City of Fredericksburg, the City of Horseshoe Bay, UBarU Camp & Retreat Center,  River Hills Neighborhood of Travis County, and Lost Creek Neighborhood of Travis County; and

 

WHEREAS,    UBarU Camp & Retreat Center is a Certified Dark-Sky Park and the only private land Certified Dark-Sky Park in the United States; and

 

WHEREAS,    this regional effort and the preservation and celebration of our night skies is now worthy of a month-long celebration.

 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED by the Board of Directors of UBarU Camp & Retreat Center:

 

  1. October 2020 shall hereafter be known as “Hill Country Night Sky Month”.

 

  1. That the Camp & Retreat Center encourages citizens to enjoy the night sky and to participate in the Hill County region’s events and programs celebrating the night sky and promoting the ways in which communities are working to preserve it.

 

  1. That the Camp encourages citizens to learn about light pollution and why it matters, night sky friendly lighting, and lighting regulations, and to implement practices and lighting improvements that will reduce light pollution, thereby preserving our night skies.

 

  1. The Camp and Retreat Center of UBarU is hereby instructed to post this Proclamation at the Camp and on its Website and further distribute for all to see.

 

                                                                                                Robyn Stout,

                                                                                                Executive Director