A Critical Location: A discussion on the Dark Sky Coop at Colorado National Monument

Visitors lining up for evening Astronomy Programs

The Grand Valley as viewed from Colorado National Monument

NPS photo

Quick Facts


A Call to Action
Action Item:
Starry, Starry Night
Also Promotes:
In My Back Yard
Year Accomplished:

In October 2012, Colorado National Monument hosted a gathering of community leaders, agency officials and citizens in Grand Junction, Colorado. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the purpose and future of a voluntary "Dark Sky Cooperative". The Monument is home to some of the darkest skies on the Colorado Plateau and is also situated next to one of the largest cities on the Colorado Plateau. This makes it a critical location in the discussion of the significance of dark skies and the future research on the effects of light pollution on natural and cultural resources of national park sites. In developing a cooperative of concerned community leaders and agency representatives, the NPS is taking the lead not only in night sky preservation, but in demonstrating how people from all walks of life can benefit from it. Colorado National Monument provides a prime example of the convergence of a large community, dark skies and the possible economic benefits that can be obtained through astronomy programs and tourism. Holding this meeting in the Grand Valley was a perfect starting point in the drive to ensure dark skies and communities will have a strong and healthy relationship for generations to come.