"I know nothing with any certainty but the sight of the stars makes me dream."
-Vincent Van Gogh
Dark Sky Places in Oregon
The International Dark-Sky Association has a Dark Sky Places program that recognizes and promote stewardship of the night sky - in communities, parks and even urban places. As of February 2020 there are only 130 certified Dark Sky Places in the world. Only one of the recognized Dark Sky Places are in Oregon - Sunriver - despite the large area of dark sky in Oregon - see the map below. So we have a lot of low-hanging fruit!
Several organizations in Oregon are working toward Dark Sky Place recognition. These include: Prineville Reservoir State Park and the communities of Tetherow and Black Butte Ranch, all in Central Oregon.
We do have very dark skies in Oregon - check out this video from Prineville Reservoir State Park - who knew that we had such star-filled, night skies out there?
If you want to help establish a Dark Sky Place in Oregon, please contact us. These nominations require a grass roots effort with involvement from the local community and local champions. IDA Oregon can assist!
Oregon's Night Skies
Large areas of Oregon still have dark skies at night -- the blues, grays, and especially the black areas in the map are dark, Milky Way skies. The red and yellow areas have light-polluted skies in which few if any stars are visible. The red and yellow areas of light-polluted skies will expand over time, adversely affecting more people and wildlife - but it doesn't have to be! It's just a matter of using outdoor lighting for safety that is also night sky friendly to reduce existing light pollution, and to prevent further light pollution.
Here are two links for finding dark-sky locations: