Our dark skies also attract visitors who relish the quiet of the night, when they can contemplate the mysteries of the universe. These are the types of visitors we want to attract to the Verde Valley.
Besides the impact on us, dark skies are critically important for wildlife. Many animals are nocturnal, coming out to feed and breed once the sun goes down. Bright lights at night are disruptive and destructive to these animals. These lights can also disrupt diurnal animals’ sleep patterns.
In addition, the worldwide spread of light pollution can interfere with the important interactions between plants and pollinators, with the potential for negative consequences on both natural areas and cultivated lands.
While artificial lighting has been a boon to humanity, we’re now realizing the importance of creating dark sky oases where we do not intrude on nature. And make no mistake, artificial lighting is the overwhelming cause of disruption to the night skies. Just take a look on a moonless night to the south, and from the Verde Valley, you’ll see the glow of the Phoenix metropolitan area, the 5th largest in the US.