Deep in the heart of Central Texas, there are still clear starry nights left to be seen and celebrated. On September 29th, 2020, Interim Travis County Judge Biscoe and Precinct 3 County Commissioner Daugherty co-sponsored a proclamation to recognize October 2020 as “Hill Country Night Sky Month” in Travis County. It was unanimously approved by the Commissioners Court.
The Travis County Commissioners Court joins other governmental entities throughout the Hill Country in an effort to showcase the shared heritage of the Texas night sky and to encourage Dark Sky education through local organizations’ online, virtual, and COVID-19 safe activities in the month of October. Similar proclamations have been or will be adopted by communities in Bandera, Blanco, Burnett, Comal, Gillespie, Hays, Kerr, Kendall, Llano, Medina, and Uvalde counties.
There are two International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) recognized Dark Sky Places in Travis County: Lost Creek and River Hills. More are seeking to become IDA-awarded Dark Sky Places, including but not limited to Milton Reimers Ranch Park, Wild Basin Preserve, McKinney Falls State Park, and thousands of acres of wild lands and preserves in the City of Austin.
The “Hill Country Night Sky Month” proclamation was brought forth for consideration by River Hills Neighborhood Association (RHNA). River Hills is a small community nestled in the foothills of Travis County and is one of only five communities nationwide that carries the rare IDA-Dark Sky Friendly Development of Distinction award.
Of this proclamation, RHNA President Dr. Marsha Staats states, ”Our community would like to express our deep appreciation to the Travis County Commissioners Court for their Dark Sky leadership and in recognizing the importance of preserving the night sky for our children, our grandchildren and all generations of Texans to come. Every person deserves to enjoy our bright stars and clear skies.”
Hill Country Alliance, in conjunction with Travis County Friends of the Night Sky, is offering an exciting lineup of events and activities that everyone from young to old can safely enjoy this October 2020. So, in honor of all the people and places that work hard to preserve the night sky, please take some time out of your October to gaze up at the stars, map out some constellations, or howl at the full moon the way they do in Wimberley.
Celebrate “Hill Country Night Sky Month” here in Travis County, Texas.
For more information on preserving our night sky, go to www.hillcountrynightskies.org