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Can You See the Light? Part Four

January 26, 2016
By Libby Strong, Robert Strong and Richard Pollack - SMART Science , OVParent

If you are a regular reader of the OV Parent Magazine, you may have been following this four-part series about light pollution and the role West Virginia could play as a "Dark State." This article is the fourth and last installment. To see the previous articles, we invite you to look under OVP Features: SMART Science at www.ovparent.com (http://ovparent. com/page/category.detail/nav/5001/ OVP-Features.html)

Activity: Check out Good Examples of Outdoor Lighting

We should note that in what appears to be a very light polluted area, there are many places in the Ohio Valley that are improving our nighttime sky. The following are four examples of the many places where dark sky improvements are being made.

Article Photos

1. Downtown Wheeling has replaced several old inefficient and unshielded "cobra-head" streetlights for much better shielded street lighting. Good job, Wheeling! Keep it up!

2. John Marshall High School's new entrance is very dark-sky friendly. Congratulations to Marshall County Schools for an excellent example of good outdoor lighting.

3. The Orrick Law Offices complex at 2121 Main St., Wheeling, is a wonderful example of good and efficient outdoor lighting. The fixtures are shielded, there is no vanity lighting, and the parking lot is safe with no glare. It is a dark-sky friendly island in an area that needs better outdoor lighting. Thanks, Orrick, for showing us how beautiful, elegant and safe good outdoor lighting for a business can be.

4. Grand Vue Park already has put a great deal of effort into minimizing light pollution within its borders and plans to incorporate International Dark-sky Association-approved fixtures in its future planned expansions. Grand Vue Park desires to become an official IDA Dark Park, and be a prototype model for other dark parks in West Virginia and the Ohio Valley. The vision of Grand Vue Park serves to inspire the rest of us in improving the local night sky. Thank you, Grand Vue Park!

Find out more about the International Dark-sky Association at darksky.org.

Activity: Become Stewards of the Night Sky

Remember the nighttime sky belongs to all of us - you have the right to enjoy the awe and wonder that a dark sky offers. The IDA folks have several recommendations if you are trying to bring people to a greater awareness about outdoor lighting and fix outdoor lighting that is bad or ugly.

To fix a problem, you need to offer solutions. The website gives you outdoor lighting basics including acceptable and unacceptable outdoor lighting fixtures: darksky.org/lighting/lighting-basics/.

This page shows some examples of Dark-sky friendly lighting products darksky.org/fsa/fsa-products/.

We would like to thank the NASA WV Space Grant Consortium for their funding our research in West Virginia Dark Skies that have inspired these four articles for the West Virginia Dark Sky Project and in helping us in our work toward making West Virginia a haven for dark sky enthusiasts around the world.

 
 

 

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