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Fountain Hills Awarded Dark Sky Community by IDA
One of Two Communities Located Near Metro Areas


Fountain Hills, Ariz., is best known for their iconic fountain, which has served as a backdrop for various festivals and celebrations. With the Sonoran Desert Mountains in the background, the town has decided to preserve its dark sky.

The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) has awarded International Dark Sky Community Status to Fountain Hills, Ariz. The town joins 16 other communities who have been distinguished by the IDA.

Nearly three years ago a group of citizens began pursuing the designation. The Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association (FHDSA) was formed after the onset of bright white LED lights. Together the FHDSA and the town council worked on outdoor lighting and sign ordinances, which were updated to address new causes of light pollution.

"We realized that if action weren't taken soon, our town would begin to have a night sky glow just like the rest of the Phoenix metropolitan area," said Nancy Bill, FHDSA co-chair.
The library and local astronomy club offer monthly star parties to introduce people to astronomy and stellar objects. Some residents have even been seen with observatories in their backyards, proving many families appreciate the dark skies.

Despite endorsing warm lights, FHDSA co-chair Joe Bill says the association is not against LED lights, or lighting in general.

"The most important point we consistently make when educating the community is that we do not suggest that anyone have inadequate or no lighting at all," explained Bill. "LEDs are fine, just not the bright white ones, as they scatter blue light back into the atmosphere and create skyglow."

To celebrate the town's recognition and keep in tradition of the town's festivals, the FHDSA is planning a Dark Sky Festival for April 21, 2018 to celebrate the designation.

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August 20, 2019, 3:53 am PDT

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