New Series Focuses on Dark Skies in The Last Green Valley!

“Green by day” and “dark at night,” The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor is a relatively undeveloped notch in the midst of the most urbanized region in the nation. By day, green fields and forests confirm the surprisingly rural character of our 35 towns. At night, the region appears distinctively dark amid the urban and suburban glow when viewed from satellites or aircraft.

This year, as part of The Last Green Valley’s (TLGV) Spring Outdoors programming, TLGV Rangers Geoff and Kimberly McLean of McLean Research Associates will share their astronomical expertise and focus our attention on The Last Green Valley’s dark skies.

“Get the Scoop on Pluto” kicks off the series on Friday, April 14th at 7 pm in TLGV’s headquarters in Killingly. Learn about this bizarre little planet that defies all preconceptions. This talk is most appropriate for ages 10 and up. Space is limited to the first 50 people to pre-register. Sign up now at register@mcleanresearch.com.

On Friday, April 21st, visit the Sprague Land Trust property on Holton Road in Franklin for “Deep Sky Observing” starting at 8 pm. Be ready for night observing of some distant objects like galaxies, clusters of stars, Red Giants, and Nebulae. Learn how to find the North Star. If you have a telescope – bring it. If you don’t know how to use it, come early and we’ll help you get started. Rangers Geoff and Kim will talk about, and answer, all kinds of astronomical trivia while we observe those great skies. This is a family-friendly event. Please, no lanterns, and flashlights should have only red lights (no white lights). No dogs except for guide dogs. This program will be repeated on Friday, June 16th, same place, same time. Plan to attend both sessions!

“Light Pollution 101” takes place at TLGV’s headquarters in Killingly on Friday, May 19th at 7 pm. The Last Green Valley is the sole remaining coastal area between Boston and Washington with dark skies. We need to preserve the dark and yet still feel safe. Discover what light pollution is, how to prevent it, what it does to animals, and most important how it affects your health. Learn how by reducing light pollution you can save money at the same time. Dark skies are not just for astronomers, but for everyone. The talk is appropriate for ages 5 and up. Space is limited, and pre-registration is necessary. Email register@mcleanresearch.com to assure your spot.

For more details, or to view all the other Spring Outdoor choices, TLGV has developed a web-based brochure (that can be downloaded and printed) at www.thelastgreenvalley.org. Events are listed on TLGV’s Facebook page, too. New adventures are being added all the time, so be sure to check in often!

The Last Green Valley is a National Heritage Corridor – the last stretch of dark night sky in the coastal sprawl between Boston and Washington, D.C.  The Last Green Valley works for you in the National Heritage Corridor. Together we can care for it, enjoy it and pass it on!