Highland County to Celebrate International Dark Sky Week

This week kicks off International Dark Sky Week, officially April 2-8, 2024. International Dark Sky Week is a worldwide celebration of the dark and natural night. For many, the dark night is often misunderstood, unfamiliar, and frightening. But the natural night is filled with wonder and awe, and is critical to the health and wellbeing of our entire planet.


“It’s migrating birds, it’s hatching turtles, but a large body of evidence is growing that it’s bad for human health. We’re learning how important sleep is. It represents a waste of natural resources, amounting to about $3 billion dollars per year in the US. And it contributes to diminished energy security. If you’re lighting things that don’t need to be lit, not only are you causing pollution and diminishing the view of the sky, but you’re wasting a lot of money.”


That’s amateur astronomer Micheal Bedwell who presented to both the Highland County Board of Supervisors and the Monterey Town Council in early March. These presentations resulted in resolutions endorsing April 2-8 as International Dark Sky Week from both governing bodies.


“Highland County is one of the primere dark sky locations in the eastern us. And we benefit culturally and financially from protecting this important natural resource.”


On the clearest of the nights this weekend, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, there will be a star party at the Skip Jones property to celebrate International Dark Sky Week. The night of the event will be decided on Thursday and announced right here on Allegheny Mountain Radio. The week also culminates Monday, April 8, with the eclipse, of which Highland County is in the 90.8 percent totality range. Hands-on events and activities will be happening at the Highland County Public Library to celebrate the eclipse on Monday beginning at 1:30 p.m.


Finally, The Highland Center, in collaboration with the Highland County Public Library, will host its Tuesday Talk on April 9 at 2 p.m. addressing the importance of a Dark Sky. Bedwell will be presenting and this event is free and open to the public.


Join the Highland County community this week to discover the night together and take action to reduce light pollution during International Dark Sky Week.

Story By


Brit Chambers

Brit Chambers is a resident of Highland County, Virginia and a news reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio. She loves living in a small town and relishes the outdoor adventures and community feeling that Highland has to offer. Brit has a background in journalism, marketing, and public relations and spends her free time reading good books, baking sourdough bread, and hiking with her family.

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