To The International Dark Sky Association:
I am writing in support of the designation of the Town of Norwood as an International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) Community in Colorado. Our local group, Norwood Dark Sky Advocates, has and is working diligently to reduce the light pollution of our wonderful “nightscape” of star-filled, night skies. Their advocacy through appearances in public meetings, newspaper articles, astronomical gatherings and presentations, and the gift of a wonderful picture of the Andromeda Galaxy taken from a ranch near town that adorns a principle space in our public library has informed me of the threat of light pollution and how to reduce it.
Viewing the nightscape from a dark location like this high desert Colorado town is a magical experience that the founding pioneers of Norwood and this area and, long before them, the Native Americans of the region had as a part of their lives. It deserves protection so that far into the future, both residents and visitors can continue to enjoy it.
Night sky and astronomical “eco-tourism” can become an important part of the town’s economic success in a rapidly changing southwestern United States. Reduction of upward directed light sources will contribute to that on-going goal.
Designation of the Town of Norwood as an IDA Dark Sky Community will also help reduce the impact of light pollution on migrating and resident bird populations that use the natural variation of light and aspects of the night sky for their activities. It will also reduce the negative effects on the natural circadian rhythm of animals and humans that is important for long-term health.
Adoption of IDA suggestions regarding commercial and residential exterior lighting will also enhance the comfort of fellow citizens by reducing unwanted light impacting their personal space and contributing to the nighttime beauty of the Town while at the same time promoting safe activities. This can be achieved with the endorsement of a Norwood Land Use Code guided by IDA principles that describes specific ways this can be done.
I am proud to be a supporter of Norwood Dark Sky Advocates efforts to achieve IDA Community designation for the Town of Norwood. I feel that it will be a valuable example to neighboring communities and others in the State and region to also follow this path to help reduce light pollution.