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Johnson City Library program offers solutions to light pollution

The Hill Country Alliance is presenting 'Preserving the Night Sky' at 6 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Johnson City Library, 501 Nugent St. in Johnson City. Stock photo

FROM STAFF REPORTS

JOHNSON CITY — The skies of Texas are big and bright, but some folks are concerned about how bright.

On Feb. 17, the Johnson City Library along with the Hill Country Alliance are hosting the program “Preserving the Night Sky.” The program focuses on what individuals, businesses and communities can do to limit the amount of light pollution during nighttime hours.

Light pollution can reduce how well people see the stars and other things in the night sky.

Matt Lara, an electrical engineer from Spicewood, will share strategies on protecting the starry skies.

The program is 6 p.m. at the library, 501 Nugent St.

The alliance has teamed up with the McDonald Observatory to hold programs and workshops across the Hill Country and the Highland Lakes about protecting the night skies. Some of the techniques include directing lights downward, shielding them and turning them off when not needed.

“This program is one of our most widely popular educational efforts,” said Christy Muse of the Hill Country Alliance. “We are discovering a growing regional consensus about the importance of protecting our night sky.”

In 2011, several local businesses, communities and landowners created the Hill Country Night Sky Co-op to encourage others to make a voluntary pledge to reduce the amount of light escaping from their properties. The following year, a new program for chambers of commerce was created through which businesses are acknowledged for being night-sky friendly.

The meeting at the Johnson City Library is free and open to the public.

Go to www.hillcountrynightskies.org or www.hillcountryalliance.org for more information on reducing light pollution. Call the library at (830) 868-4469 for more information about the Feb. 17 program.

editor@thepicayune.com