A Refreshing Idea! Vote for Enabling City Kids to See Starry Skies

by Nancy Atkinson on December 11, 2011

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Now here’s a refreshing idea: create a “dark sky oasis” in suburban locations where city-dwellers can gather to see the stars and learn about the night sky. The International Dark-Sky Association has proposed a project to bring access to the starry night to urban areas through the creation of Suburban Outreach Sites. To make this project a reality, the IDA needs your help, and all it takes is a click of your mouse. Every year the Pepsi Refresh project gives away tens of thousands of dollars in grants to improve communities. The IDA is competing for one of these grants and needs your vote!

A Suburban Outreach Site could be built right in your community. These will be safe, public places where people can gather to enjoy the night sky. Scott Kardel, the Public Affairs Director for the IDA told Universe Today that Suburban Outreach Sites will be easily accessible from US cities.

“They will offer a good place to stargaze (relative to the area) and will hold free events to bring celestial wonders to the young and old,” Kardel said. “Suburban Outreach Sites will educate the next generation of astronomers to keep looking up, and inspire them to use better lighting to save energy, conserve natural resources, and help wildlife.”

These sites will be created through a partnership between IDA and local astronomy clubs.

If funded the Pepsi Refresh grant will help IDA designate Suburban Outreach Sites around the USA.

“IDA will coordinate action with our Chapters and astronomy clubs to select a safe place with a beautiful nighttime atmosphere,” Kardel said. “IDA will create ‘fresh’ programming ideas and event coordination, and even offer free materials on how to dim city lights and bring back the stars.”

Projects are chosen by popular vote and people can vote every day in the month of December to help IDA bring the night sky.

You can support the IDA by voting here: http://www.refresheverything.com/citystarparks

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also is the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast and works with Astronomy Cast. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

joseph yates December 12, 2011 at 6:26 AM

The Louisville Astronomical Society has been conducting urban and suburban outreach to the Greater Louisville community since 1933. This year alone, we conducted sidewalk astronomy events that attracted over 5,000 people.

http://www.louisville-astro.org/

mark trigg December 12, 2011 at 12:15 PM

I would love to sign up but I refuse to join Facebook or create a login with Pepsi

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