News Release

National Park Service to Turn Off Gateway Arch Exterior Lights for Bird Migration

Arch is dark no lights on


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News Release Date: April 28, 2022

Contact: Pam Sanfilippo, Gateway Arch National Park, 314-655-1634

Contact: Jenna Todoroff, Common Ground PR, 618-580-8187

ST. LOUIS—The National Park Service will not illuminate the Gateway Arch at night from May 1-14, 2022, due to the spring bird migration season.  

“Every spring and fall, we turn off the Gateway Arch’s exterior lights for two weeks during the peak of migration through the St. Louis area in an effort to minimize the possible disorienting effect the lights may have on birds that migrate at night,” said Jeremy Sweat, Superintendent, Gateway Arch National Park. "This is an operational decision based on science." 

Karen Trevino, director of the National Park Service’s Natural Sounds and Night Skies Program says outdoor light at night can be particularly harmful for migrating birds. “Each year billions of wild birds migrate at night, and light pollution causes disorientation, collisions with buildings, and interferes with their ability to endure long distance migrations.” According to the National Park Service, 40 percent of the nation's migratory waterfowl use the Mississippi River corridor during their spring and fall migration.  

The Arch’s exterior lights will be turned back on beginning the evening of Saturday, May 15, and the monument will be lit nightly thereafter.  

Last updated: April 29, 2022

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