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Sedona Named
Dark Sky Community

The IDA, a non-profit organization fighting to preserve the night sky, has announced Sedona, Ariz. as the world's eighth International
Dark Sky Community.

Photo: Susan Amon

Although Sedona, Ariz. is known for its red rock setting, more recently the small town gained publicity for its spot on the International Dark-Sky Association's list of dark sky communities, the eighth in the world. "We are pleased to honor the dedication and hard work of the many Sedona citizens committed to protecting the nighttime environment," said IDA Acting Executive Director Scott Kardel.

Sedona, a community of more than 10,000 people, is a prime tourist destination featuring a variety of outdoor activities. The city hopes to highlight its commitment to dark skies preservation as a more visible draw for new residents and businesses.

"Sedona is known worldwide for its spectacular natural environment," explained Sedona Mayor, Rob Adams. "It is my personal goal to take a leadership role in establishing Sedona as a model city in sustainability and environmental stewardship. Preserving our dark skies is just one component of this goal."

Residents of Sedona founded Keep Sedona Beautiful (KSB) in 1972 to address rapid growth and a lack of regional long-term planning. Over time, KSB members began to consider light pollution as pressing an environmental issue as air and water quality and the protection of the Red Rocks.

Fifteen years ago, city staff began working with KSB, the business community, and local citizens to identify problem outdoor lighting installations and to incorporate solutions into a revised code. Lessons learned from policy changes enacted in Flagstaff, Arizona - the world's first International Dark Sky Community - guided efforts to update and strengthen the Sedona code language. The new outdoor lighting ordinance became law in 2001.

"Over the years KSB has worked with various government jurisdictions and conducted educational outreach to help protect our skies from light pollution," said KSB Past President Tom O'Halleran. "KSB is committed to continuing those efforts in the future."

As part of the process of becoming a Dark Sky Community, the City of Sedona appropriated funds to bring City Hall into full compliance with the code and to provide resources for lighting retrofit projects such as that carried out at Posse Grounds Park. In 2012-13 the city's Outdoor Lighting Small Grant Program provided 50 percent matching funds totaling $10,000 to encourage businesses to bring their grandfathered outdoor lighting into compliance with the ordinance. Earlier this year Sedona approved further protections that expanded the use of adaptive controls and light curfews for city-owned lighting.

The dedication of Sedona residents and city officials has certainly paid off according to Dr. Stephen Leshin, a physician with a retirement home in Sedona. "Living here, it's hard to imagine how many millions of people who live in light polluted cities can't even see individual bright stars," he said. "We are fortunate and grateful here in Sedona to have dark skies to enjoy."

For more information about the IDA, please visit

Association news and events are listed at To view the calendar of upcoming events, visit, go to the Associations/Events" tab and click on "Search for Events."

If your association has news and/or events that you would like featured on, please send your information via email to

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April 20, 2019, 3:56 pm PDT

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