Eric Walker

Lee McMullin

Rebecca Latson

Mike Mezeul

Supt. Bill Wellman accepts the IDS Dark Sky Park and Gold Tier designation

Dark Skies

Debut:  February 2012

Amount:  $43,000

Top Donors:  Big Bend license plate holders

Big Bend Conservancy was proud to support Big Bend National Park's efforts to achieve a Gold Tier Designation from the International Dark Sky Association for having the darkest skies of the lower 48 states.  The park was also named an International Dark Sky Park.  

Big Bend's journey to maintain its pristine dark skies through these protections was inspired by colleagues at the McDonald Observatory up the road in Ft. Davis.  This project was a partnership between Big Bend Conservancy, the National Park Foundation, and Musco Lighting. The retrofit includes expansive "no lighting zones", redirecting bulbs to avoid glare, using energy-saving bulbs, and removing some fixtures.  The result was a 98% drop in energy usage in the Chisos Basin.