RAPID CITY, S.D. — Mayor Steve Allender issued a proclamation naming April 5 – 12 as Dark Sky Week to encourage the community to celebrate the wonders of our night sky and learn about light pollution.
The City will observe “lights out” from 8 – 9:30 p.m., shutting off the streetlights in the heart of downtown. A banner on St. Joseph Street promotes the event and encourages the public to participate each night at 8 p.m.
“We support the dark sky effort. At the same time we know the importance of maintaining that public safety component and just trying to find that balance where you’re maintaining public safety at the same time, promoting dark skies,” said City Communications Coordinator Darrell Shoemaker.
Allender’s proclamation encourages everyone to “celebrate the night sky and the natural nocturnal environment and to learn about responsible lighting practices that prevent or reduce light pollution,” defining light pollution as any adverse effect or impact that can be attributed to artificial light.
Dark Sky advocates touch on the impact that artificial light can have on the views at places like Badlands National Park, Custer State Park, or the Black Hills National Forest, where “skyglow” often disrupts the natural environment.