Join TLGV for a First-Ever Citizen’s Science Effort to Protect Starry Skies

by Virge Lorents

Join TLGV for a First-Ever Citizen’s Science Effort to Protect Starry Skies

The Last Green Valley, Inc. (TLGV) is launching a new citizen science effort to protect the starry skies of the National Heritage Corridor. 

The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor was designated in 1994, in part because it was the last large corridor between Boston and Washington D.C. where lights were not visible to airline pilots. On the ground that means the Milky Way can still be seen on a clear night. But, the skies are not as starry as they were 25 years ago. 

“We are losing the stars because of light pollution,” said Lois Bruinooge, executive director of TLGV, the non-profit that stewards the national heritage corridor of the same name. “This is actually an easy problem to fix, and it’s not just about turning off lights. It is about having the lights shine where they are needed and not up into the sky, wasting money and causing issues for wildlife and people.”

The first step is creating a team of citizen scientists known as Night Sky Rangers. The team will begin collecting light pollution data from all 35 municipalities in the National Heritage Corridor. Citizen scientists are still needed!

A training for Night Sky Rangers will be held at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 14, at the TLGV offices, 203B Main St., Danielson, CT. (On the 2nd floor of Key Bank). The training will give a short explanation about light pollution and why it is a concern. We will also move outside and demonstrate how the data will be collected. 

After the training, volunteers will have a chance to sign up to be a Night Sky Ranger and be assigned locations and a time frame for data collection.  For more information about the training or the Night Sky Ranger program, please contact TLGV Assistant Director Francesca Kefalas at 860-774-3300 or email fran@tlgv.org

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, Inc. works for you in the National Heritage Corridor. We help you to care for it, enjoy it and pass it on.

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