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Curecanti National Recreation Area certified as an International Dark Sky Park

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 5:06 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Curecanti National Recreation Area has been certified as an International Dark Sky Park by the National Park Service and the International Dark Sky Association. This certification recognizes the exceptional quality of Curecanti’s night skies and the opportunities to enhance visitor experiences through astronomy-based interpretive programming.

Curecanti is the first National Recreation Area to be certified under this program. The first National Park Service unit to receive the certification was Utah’s Natural Bridges National Monument in 2007. Today, Curecanti joins many other National Park Service units as an International Dark Sky Place.

The City of Gunnison, Lake City, the Gunnison Valley Observatory, the Black Canyon Astronomical Society, Western Colorado University, and the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative supported Curecanti in its certification process.

“This designation emphasizes how special the dark skies of the Gunnison Valley are and how important it is to preserve this natural resource,” said Dr. M. Suzanne Taylor, President of the Gunnison Valley Observatory Board of Directors. Curecanti continues to work with its partners in developing future dark sky experiences for visitors.

The International Dark Sky Places Program was founded in 2001 as a non-regulatory and voluntary program encouraging communities, parks, and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through responsible lighting polices and public education. Each International Dark Sky Place follows a rigorous application process that demonstrates robust community support for dark sky certification.

For more information, please visit darksky.org and nps.gov/cure.

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