Working Together to Preserve Dark Skies

by Mary Coolidge, Lights Out and Non-lead Campaign Coordinator

Thanks to strong advocacy from our growing community of light-pollution activists, we have taken an important step forward on preserving dark skies in our growing city. In May, City Council approved funding for the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to initiate a light-pollution reduction scoping project. The Portland Dark Skies Initiative will develop recommendations for steps that the city can take to reduce light pollution—a move that will protect ecosystems and human health, preserve our night skies, and help us meet our ambitious Climate Action Goals.

Thanks to each and every one of you for emailing City Council to let them know that this is an issue you care about, and thanks to Commissioner Nick Fish for his steadfast championship of this important issue.

Go Lights Out on Saturday, September 21!

Join buildings and residents all over Portland in going dark from dusk till dawn to help raise awareness about the importance of dark skies.

Sep 19
Go Lights Out 2020

Event Details

A photo of the Hawthorne Bridge lit up at night.
Light pollution in Portland, photo by Thomas Hawk

Sign up to Take the Pledge to go Lights Out and help us protect dark skies year-round!

Look for opportunities to reduce unnecessary overnight lighting at home. This is a simple way that you can help birds in your yard, reduce light pollution, save money, and help raise awareness about this issue! Sign up today to get a free yard sign.

Take the Pledge to Go Lights Out!

Other Lights Out highlights:

  • We are working with long-term partners International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) and Rose City Astronomers (RCA) to establish an Oregon Chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association! This step will help galvanize stakeholders across the state in preservation of Oregon’s world-class skies.
  • We are also working with IDA and RCA on the nomination of International Dark Sky Places across the state, from sites within the city of Portland to areas in the remotest parts of southeastern Oregon; these are high-priority sites where we can focus our efforts to preserve dark skies and raise public awareness about their value.
  • Bird Alliance of Oregon will be leading a first-of-its-kind Dark Skies Foray to Steens Mountain in Harney County this September, where we will delight in Oregon’s most magnificent night skies!