News Release

National Park Service to Turn Off Gateway Arch Exterior Lights for 2023 Bird Migration Season

2 geese in flight
Geese in flight


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News Release Date: April 26, 2023

Contact: Pam Sanfilippo, 314-503-0184

ST. LOUIS—The National Park Service has announced it will not illuminate the Gateway Arch at night throughout the month of May 2023 due to the spring bird migration season.

“St. Louis sits right beneath the Mississippi Flyway, a major migration highway,” said Jeremy Sweat, Superintendent, of Gateway Arch National Park. “For over a decade Gateway Arch’s exterior lights have been turned off for two weeks each May and September to help minimize the possible disorienting effect the lights may have on birds that migrate at night. As migration patterns have changed, this year the park will extend the lights off for the entire month of May.”

Gateway Arch National Park is both a building and program partner with Lights Out Heartland, an organization that works with partners to provide migrating birds safe passage through the Mississippi Flyway during the high-intensity migration months of May and September. According to the St. Louis Audubon Society, sixty percent of North American songbirds and forty percent of waterfowl (over 325 species) are anticipated to migrate this spring and fall.

The National Park Service began turning the Gateway Arch’s exterior lights off to protect migrating birds in 2002. The Arch’s exterior lights will be turned back on beginning the evening of Thursday, June 1, 2023, and the monument will be lit nightly thereafter.

ABOUT GATEWAY ARCH NATIONAL PARK: Gateway Arch National Park is a unit of the National Park System that commemorates Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a unified continental nation and St. Louis’ role as the gateway to the American West during the 19th century and preserves the Old Courthouse as the site of the Dred Scott case. The park includes the Gateway Arch, the Arch grounds and the Old Courthouse, located on the riverfront in downtown St. Louis. Admission to the Museum at the Gateway Arch is free, and most programs are free of charge and open to the public. Many programs and events at the park benefit from the generous support from park partners Gateway Arch Park Foundation, Jefferson National Parks Association and Bi-State Development. The Gateway Arch is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Old Courthouse is currently closed. The park is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For more information about Gateway Arch National Park, visit

Last updated: April 26, 2023

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