Great Sand Dunes National Park recognized as International Dark Sky Park | PostIndependent.com

Great Sand Dunes National Park recognized as International Dark Sky Park

Kieran Nicholson
The Denver Post
Milky Way over Great Sand Dunes
Patrick Myers, National Park Service

A southern Colorado destination for star gazers for decades, the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve has been recognized as an International Dark Sky Park.

Great Sand Dunes joins three other national park sites in Colorado and about two dozen national parks around the country in being designated International Dark Sky Parks, the National Park Service said in a Thursday news release.

“It’s no surprise that Great Sand Dunes has been building a reputation for good night sky viewing,” said Pamela Rice, park superintendent, in the release. “The dry air, high elevation, and lack of light pollution all make the park an ideal dark-sky destination. We are thrilled with receiving this recognition as an International Dark Sky Park.”

The designation, by the International Dark-Sky Association, recognizes the park, northeast of Alamosa, for its efforts and commitments to preserving “the exceptional quality of its dark night skies,” the release stated.

“The dry air, high elevation, and lack of light pollution all make the park an ideal dark-sky destination.”

Established in 1932 as the Great Sand Dunes National Monument, the park is home to the tallest dunes in North America. Congress designated it a national park in 2000. The park, made up of more than 149,000 acres, also includes wetlands, grasslands, forests and alpine tundra.

Read more via The Denver Post.


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