Repurposing an Existing Community

One approach to establishing a dark-sky, astronomy-friendly, community is to find a small town in a rural area that would be receptive to doing the following:

  1. Enact a comprehensive lighting ordinance that will be enforced
  2. Eliminate all dusk-to-dawn outdoor lighting
  3. Apply for International Dark Sky Community status

Obviously, this is going to be easier to do in a small community, and most likely one that is economically depressed.

What’s in it for them? What would the motivating factors be?

  • A commitment from X number of people that they would move to the community provided the community agrees to 1-3 above being done. Options for new residents would be to either purchase or rent an existing home/apartment/RV space/etc., or to build the same but land would have to be available.
  • The new residents would commit to working with the existing residents and businesses to improve the community and provide new opportunities, ensuring that this is a win-win situation for both existing and new residents.
  • The new residents would commit to doing some or all of the things outlined in the Mirador Astronomy Village specifications document, or something like it.
  • The influx of new residents and tourism will benefit all in the community, both economically and socially.

Does anyone know of a rural community that might be interested in putting their town “on the map” as an astronomy-friendly community for residents and visitors?

2 thoughts on “Repurposing an Existing Community”

  1. Hi David, I know we had “talked” about this awhile ago as you had written a letter to the Editor I think in the Dodgeville Chronicle. I’d like to post this on the Mineral Point Community Facebook page if that is okay? I guess the only way is to copy and paste.?

    1. Sure, Dawn, but do you think there would be any communities in this area willing to take such a bold step? I’d always assumed I would have better luck with this in the desert southwest where most nights are clear and the winters are mild and thus more conducive to astronomy.

      Yes, copy and paste it has to be, or you could post a link directly to the article.



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