Lightscape / Night Sky
The National Park Service considers the night sky an intrinsic resource that needs protection, just like clean air, clean water and natural quiet.
Whitman Mission is located in a rural area with relatively dark night skies. Although the park itself is closed at night, park staff have taken various measures to reduce light pollution caused by the park. Light shields are used to direct light down rather than up into the night sky. Recessed lights also reduce the amount of light that escapes upward. Timers and motion sensors ensure that the parking lot and building exterior are lit when necessary, but limit the total amount of time these lights are on.
Did You Know?
The Whitmans’ mission was important to early Oregon Trail travelers. Those who were sick, tired, or hungry or who needed a wagon fixed would make the side trip to the mission. Some would spend the winter with the Whitmans before continuing on to the Willamette Valley.