Dark Skies Over Torrey
For my part, I know nothing with certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream. – Vincent Van Gogh
With this project, the residents of Torrey, Utah will be able to take the first steps toward becoming Utah’s first dark sky community.
Our goal is three-fold. First we will immediately replace all of Torrey Town’s city-supported streetlights with fully shielded, dark-sky friendly, LED lights.
Next, we’ll assist Torrey residents who need assistance in replacing any lights on their private property that are out of compliance with Torrey’s outdoor light ordinance. As with the Torrey Town supported streetlights, the new privately owned lights will be dark-sky approved and fully-shielded.
Finally we will launch a three-point education effort. This education effort will provide information and to local businesses, residents, and tourists about the multiple benefits of dark sky lighting.
One facet of the education program includes a Dark Sky Information Exhibit at the local visitor center. This will be named for Linton Rohr who recently passed away. Linton was an avid dark sky advocate in our area.
Additionally, in cooperation with Entrada and the Wayne County School District, 4th graders from Loa Elementary School will be mentored by high school students as they create an interpretive wayside guide and signage along a soon-to-be-funded biking and walking path. The guide will include information about local plants, animals, and the night skies in Wayne County.
· July 1 – September 24: Fundraising drive! This is the part where we really need your help. Talk to your friends, family, peers, and colleagues. Remember the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “But every night come out these enjoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.” Help us come up with the funding to make this program possible so everyone can enjoy Torrey’s dark skies!
· September 30 and 31: The annual Heritage Starfest encourages people to enjoy the dark skies of the Colorado Plateau, share the heritage of night skies, and encourage preservation of dark skies. The Entrada Institute and the National Park Service are proud co-sponsors of the festival. During this year’s event, we will announce the successful results of the Dark Skies Over Torrey fundraising drive!
· November and December: Entrada will purchase those lights and Garkane Energy will install them.
· 2017: Begin implementing the remainder of our plan – replacing privately owned Torrey lights, educate our communities, and assist with the bike and walking path interpretive guides and signage.
why we’re doing it
Torrey, Utah is a remote, small, rural community in the heart of Wayne County. Fewer than 300 permanent residents live here, and fewer than 3,000 people live in the entire county. The large majority of our businesses are related to tourism associated with the surrounding public lands. Torrey is the gateway community to Capitol Reef National Park, which has nearly one million visitors each year. As a result, Torrey’s economic welfare is closely tethered to Capitol Reef.
In April of 2015, Capitol Reef National Park was designated a Gold-tier International Dark (IDA) Sky Park. Torrey would like to hitch our wagon to IDA star by working toward Dark Sky Community designation. That would make us the only Utah community recognized as such.
As a first step in the process, Torrey Town Council recently passed a new outdoor lighting ordinance.
The second step is to replace the town-supported, high-pressure sodium streetlights with Dark Sky approved, fully-shielded, LED lights. The success of this campaign makes it possible to take this next big step toward becoming Utah’s first Dark Sky Community. Please help us in bringing darker skies to Torrey and making our town enriched economically, environmentally, and socially.