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Borrego Springs, California — A Dark Sky Community

James Hoban Rickard (Astronomer, and Member of the Borrego Springs Dark Sky Committee)

On 2009 July 31 the International Dark Sky Association selected the town of Borrego Springs, California, as a Dark Sky Community, a designation not easily obtained. The only other community so designated is Flagstaff, Arizona, the home of Lowell Observatory and a US Naval Observatory telescope. James sat on the committee during the two-year application process. Since he regularly provides free star-gazing programmes for visitors to the desert community of 4,000, he is keen that the village maintain its dark skies. The designation shows that the town meets the minimum criteria, and also provides impetus for local businesses and homeowners to use only appropriate lighting in the future. The talk will describe how towns can benefit by the establishment of lighting criteria by concerned local groups.