Horseshoe Bay is a Dark Sky Community
Before the advent of electric light in the 20th century, our ancestors experienced a night sky brimming with stars that inspired science, religion, philosophy, art and literature. Do you remember the first time you looked up at the night sky as a child and saw the Milky Way swimming with millions of stars? The common heritage of a natural night sky is rapidly becoming unknown to the newest generations, including millions of children who will never see the Milky Way from their own homes.
The nighttime environment is a crucial natural resource for all life on Earth, but the glow of uncontrolled outdoor lighting has hidden the stars, causing serious harm to human and animal health, and the environment. About 15 million tons of carbon dioxide are emitted each year in order to power residential outdoor lighting in the U.S.; 600 million trees would need to be planted to offset that amount of carbon emission. 13% of residential electricity use is for outdoor lighting, and 35% of that light is wasted by unshielded and/or poorly-aimed light fixtures. There are links at the bottom of this page if you would like more information on how excessive outdoor lighting affects our environment.
The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), founded in 1988, is dedicated to preserving the natural nighttime environment by educating policymakers and the public about night sky conservation and promoting eco-friendly outdoor lighting. There are multiple links below for the Association.
In November 2015, in recognition of its exemplary efforts to preserve its naturally dark nighttime conditions, the International Dark-Sky Association designated the City of Horseshoe Bay a Dark Sky Community. Horseshoe Bay was the eighth Dark Sky Community named in the United States, and the second named community in Texas. Please view the Press Release when the City of Horseshoe Bay received it's Dark Sky Community designation.
IDA is celebrating the 100th International Dark Sky Place Designation! You can find the press release (Horseshoe Bay is listed on page 3), find information on all Dark Sky Places, and watch the video below which celebrates all 100 places.
IDA's 100th International Dark Sky Place Designation Celebration Video (Horseshoe Bay is at 1:13)
Below is an educational (and entertaining) video made by the staff at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which demonstrates the importance of proper nighttime lighting: