BY LAURENCE HAMMACK The Roanoke Occasions
In a state park the place the rock bridge is pure, the night time sky is now formally darkish.
Pure Bridge State Park, which is way from metropolis lights that make it more durable to see the celebrities, has been acknowledged as an Worldwide Darkish Sky Park.
The standing, which requires cautious consideration and approval from the Worldwide Darkish-Sky Affiliation, has been granted to roughly 130 parks all over the world. Pure Bridge is the fourth state park in Virginia to earn the designation.
Supporters say this may make Rockbridge County Park higher identified for stargazing, whereas additionally encouraging efforts to scale back mild air pollution – a rising drawback east of the Mississippi River that not solely reduces the visibility of constellations , however can have antagonistic results on wildlife and people. well being and power consumption.
“Our dedication to offering guests with distinctive alternatives to get pleasure from and be taught extra about our pure sources is on the forefront of this undertaking,” mentioned Melissa Baker, director of state parks, in an announcement Wednesday.
For years, the 215-foot-tall limestone formation referred to as the Pure Bridge has been illuminated at night time by multi-colored spotlights as a part of a “Creation Drama” presentation primarily based on the e book of Genesis.
Because the nocturnal occasion lasts for a quick time period, it was not affected by the Darkish Sky designation, in keeping with Kara Asboth, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Division of Conservation and Recreation. The present, which is introduced by the adjoining Pure Bridge Resort, is just not a park sponsored occasion.