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Consultant to analyze lighting at Winthrop Rink

The Winthrop Town Council has agreed to support a study of how to better mitigate “light leakage” at the Winthrop Rink.

January 24, 2024

The World At Night

This publication from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) describes light pollution and its impacts across the globe. It summarizes lessons learned from certified dark sky sites, laws and policies from around the world, and provides guidelines for outdoor lighting and public engagement.

January 19, 2024

Learn Astrophotography

Join our upcoming astrophotography class series and discover the art of capturing stunning milky way, moon, aurora, time lapse, and deep sky images with your camera or phone. No experience necessary. This class is complete. You can see some of the photos from class in the Gallery.

August 30, 2023

Capture the Dark Photo Contest

Photography plays a powerful role in the dark sky movement. A photograph of the naturally dark sky connects those who’ve never laid eyes on the naturally dark sky to a universe hidden behind the veil of skyglow. In celebration, the DarkSky International is hosting the fourth annual Capture the Dark Photography Contest! It is free to enter and open to entrants worldwide.

May 12, 2023

Intl. Dark Sky Week / Earth Day

My Favorte Bill Watterson "Calvin and Hobbes" cartoon features the stargazing duo under a night sky, ruminating, "If people looked at the stars each night, they'd live a lot differently."

April is Global Astronomy Month, a time when organizations around the globe ...

April 12, 2023

Lights Out!

Every year, billions of birds migrate in the spring and fall, mostly flying in the dark and navigating by the night sky. And every year, tens of thousands of these birds die along the way from disorientation and collisions caused by artificial lights...

April 5, 2023

Methow Valley Named a Best Sight for Dark Skies

Travel magazine AFAR named the Methow Valley one of the top places for Stargazing in the lower 48 and gave Methow Dark Sky Coalition and Sun Mountain lodge a shout out.

March 24, 2023

Methow Home 2023 - Celebrating the dark times

The Methow Valley is one of the best places in the country to stargaze. Given our dark pristine night sky we can easily observe the Milky Way, the wispy galactic spiral arms and dust clouds, the tireless travels of the planets, periodic visitations by comets, annual meteor showers, the aurora borealis and more - most with the naked eye....

March 11, 2023

Advocating for National Dark Skies

The New Zealand Dark Sky Network is advocating for national level legislation to reduce light pollution and preserve dark skies. If successful, New Zealand would join France and Croatia as the only countries with national laws to control light pollution.

We applaud the New Zealand Dark Sky Network for thinking big!

February 27, 2023

Coalition aims to dim valley’s light pollution

The Methow Dark Sky Coalition continues to work toward making the town of Winthrop a dark sky community. Recently, the coalition installed baffles at Winthrop’s Thriftway grocery and Ace Hardware. The baffles were made by metal artist and fabricator Barry Stromberger, and installed with a lift provided by Triple T Roofing...

September 21, 2022

Winthrop adopts Dark Sky Ordinance

After two years of proposals and discussions, on July 21, 2021, the Winthrop Town Council approved changes in the town’s outdoor lighting regulations intended to reduce light pollution.

June 23, 2022

Winthrop council considers ‘Dark Sky’ proposals

After a public hearing that drew an unusual number of comments, the Winthrop Planning Commission has forwarded proposed changes in the town’s outdoor lighting regulations to the Town Council.

The Planning Commission’s recommendations were developed in response to efforts by the Methow Dark Sky Coalition, a local nonprofit organization, to make the town part of a valley-wide “dark sky community” devoted to reducing light pollution.

July 13, 2021

Winthrop council gets first look at ‘dark sky’ proposals

The Winthrop Town Council got its first look at the proposals during its meeting last week. Town Planner Rocklynn Culp said the Planning Commission is looking for council feedback and direction.

March 10, 2021

Changes in night sky brightness after a countywide LED retrofit

The US National Park Service (NPS) Night Skies Program measured changes in sky brightness resulting from a countywide lighting retrofit project. The retrofit took place in Chelan County, a gateway community to North Cascades National Park and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area in Washington State. The county retrofitted all 3693 county-owned high pressure sodium (HPS) street lamps to full cutoff LEDs.

January 1, 2021

Winthrop OKs dark sky-friendly retrofit for downtown streetlights

The Winthrop Town Council has accepted an offer to retrofit downtown streetlights to be more “dark sky” friendly — at little or no cost to the town.

March 10, 2020

Light Matters: Moonlight vs. Streetlights

Exploring the differences between moonlight and streetlight.

November 2, 2019

10 Books Featuring the Night

The night has captured our imaginations since the beginning of time. After all, half our lifetimes are spent in darkness, and when our instincts kick in and our more primitive senses are heightened, who knows what weird and wonderful stories will unearth themselves?

Here are 10 books featuring the night.

November 2, 2019

Is The Evening Sky Doomed?

Light pollution is threatening our ability to see the cosmos.

An opinion piece by the New York Times.

August 17, 2019

LIGHT MATTERS: Save our night sky

Methow Valley residents today enjoy a magnificently dark night sky filled with stars, planets, comets, the moon and myriad other celestial features. When city-dwellers visit, they often comment on the beautiful sweep of the Milky Way, the colorful glow of the Aurora Borealis, and the annual sparkling showers of meteors.

August 14, 2019

Dark Sky Coalition has clear goals for Methow nights

Long, dark nights may be ahead for Winthrop, the Methow Valley and beyond — and that would be a good thing, according to a group of local activists.

The Methow Dark Sky Coalition, an nonprofit organization that got its start over beers and discussions at a local pub, has put together a proposal that, fully realized, would create a huge “dark sky community” devoted to reducing light pollution and making stargazing even more brilliant, with the Methow Valley at its center.

August 14, 2019

Dark Skies

For billions of years, Earthly life has flourished in a reassuring 24-hour cycle of light and darkness. Over the past century, however, urban skies have grown increasingly clouded with light pollution. The excess light disrupts circadian rhythms, poses safety and health risks, wastes energy, and exacts a sad aesthetic toll as well.

April 28, 2019

Airport to Use Pilot Activated Beacon

Residents’ resistance prompted agency to revise its plans in first major success for preserving the Methow night skies. Check out the song written for this event on our Gallery page.

April 14, 2016

Winthrop council raises questions about ice rink lighting

The Winthrop Ice & Sports Rink’s board president and Winthrop Town Council discussed alternatives to find solutions in response to complaints about “light pollution” from the outdoor facility.

February 27, 2014

Co-op to begin installing new lighting to protect ‘dark sky’

To protect natural nighttime darkness in the Methow Valley and save energy costs, the Okanogan County Electric Cooperative will replace about 100 street and yard lights with new fixtures that direct light down toward the ground.

July 3, 2013

Co-op launches ‘Dark Sky’ project in Methow

Protecting the Methow Valley’s night skies from light pollution started as a new initiative of the Okanogan County Electric Cooperative in 2013.

April 14, 2013

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