The City Dark” Documentary To Be Shown At Old Dairy On January 19th

Warm Springs, VA – In many parts of the United States and the world, light pollution is taking away a truly dark night sky. Even though that’s not the case in our area, the effects of light pollution may touch all of us in some way. The Virginia Hot Springs Preservation Trust is presenting a new, award winning documentary this week called “The City Dark: A Search for Night on a Planet That Never Sleeps”. Mary Hodges is the Executive Director of The Virginia Hot Springs Preservation Trust.

“This is an important documentary because it addresses the disappearing dark sky,” says Hodges. “For those of us that are fortunate enough to live in Bath County, we really don’t have to contemplate that too often. Because we have a beautiful dark sky and we are able to go out and stargaze on most evenings.”

“But for many, for over half of the population of the United States, they live urban areas where the night sky is not even visible. And many of our children don’t even know what a Milky Way is, or that it exists. So I don’t think that we should ever take that for granted, especially in an area such as Bath County where we do have development coming to us in different ways.”

The film looks at the issue of how artificial light and the disappearance of darkness affects our health and the planet. The film features doctors and researchers studying health risks associated with light pollution. Risks such as increased rates of breast cancer, possibly caused by suppressed levels of melatonin after exposure to lights at night.

The film also looks at the issue of migratory patterns of birds being disrupted by city lights. And it considers how light pollution interferes with astronomers’ ability to locate asteroids that might hit the earth.

“It’s part of our mission to provide educational, environmental films to the community and programming,” says Hodges. “And I just thought that this would be a great way to kick off the New Year.”

“It also comes at a time when the Planning Commission for Bath County is considering a light ordinance and our new Board of Supervisors will be addressing it this year, at the beginning of the year, so I think this is very timely.”

A guest astronomer from Roanoke will introduce the film and a special stargazing session will follow the film, if the night is clear.

“The City Dark: A Search for Night on a Planet That Never Sleeps” will be shown Thursday evening January 19 at 7 o’clock at the Old Dairy in Warm Springs. Admission is free.

The showing of “The City Dark” is the Virginia Hot Springs Preservation Trust’s first program of 2012. The Trust will be offering programs this year on native plants and mushroom foraging, and the hiking club will get underway again in the spring. All programs are open to the community. If you need more information on “The City Dark” or on any of the programs, contact Mary Hodges at 540-839-2407.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

Current Weather