All across America, birds are migrating to their new homes. To help in the migration, the City of Dripping Springs is once again launching Lights Out Dripping Springs, asking residents and businesses to take a pledge to turn off exterior lights during Fall Migration: September 5 - October 29 and Spring Migration: March 15 – June 15 from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Along with the Lights Out Dripping Springs pledge program, the Dripping Springs City Council has proclaimed August through October and March through May as Lights Out Migratory Months.
From hummingbirds and warblers to sparrows and geese, millions of birds migrate across North America every year, covering hundreds to thousands of miles. Most of these birds make their journey at night, visualizing the magnetic pull of the earth and using the moon and stars to set their course. By taking part in Lights Out Dripping Springs and reducing skyglow over Dripping Springs, residents and businesses can help them make it to their destinations safely.
Lights Out Dripping Springs is part of Audubon’s national initiative. Audubon established the national Lights Out program in 1999 to protect birds from light pollution. The strategy is simple: by turning off excess lighting during the months migrating birds are flying overhead, communities can help provide them safe passage between their nesting and wintering grounds.
Lights Out Dripping Springs is asking residents and businesses to take the pledge and follow some of these guidelines to help during the upcoming months:
• Turn off exterior decorative lighting
• Use light only when and where needed
• Use only as much light as needed
• Aim needed lights down
• Extinguish pot and floodlights
• Minimize blue light emissions
• Use energy efficient lighting sources and fixtures
• Use timers, dimmers, and motion sensors
• Select warm LED bulbs that are under a 3,000 Kelvin rating.
• Draw blinds or curtains to reduce light spill that contributes to sky glow.
• Turn off interior lighting especially on higher stories
• Businesses can substitute task and area lighting for workers staying late or pull window coverings and reduce atrium lighting wherever possible
Taking the pledge should be easy for Dripping Springs residents and businesses. Dripping Springs is an International Dark Sky Community, one of the first to receive that distinction in Texas. As such, the City has an outdoor lighting ordinance that’s been in place since 2000. The ordinance was created to reduce light pollution at night and to maintain the beauty of the City’s night sky. The Lights Out Dripping Springs program will also support other City initiatives such as its Jr. Birding Club and Bird City designation and will help the City qualify for grants to support Nature Tourism, benefiting the local economy.
Lights Out Dripping Springs will run through October, culminating with Hill Country Night Sky Month.
The City of Dripping Springs is declaring October as Hill Country Night Sky Month, along with The Hill Country Alliance (HCA) and many other communities. HCA is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise public awareness and build community support around the need to preserve the natural resources and heritage of the Central Texas Hill Country. October, the second annual Hill Country Night Sky Month, will be a celebration of the star-filled night sky — one of our region’s most dazzling features — and the many ways that Hill Country communities are working together to preserve it.
Residents and businesses can take the Lights Out Dripping Springs Pledge here: https://www.cityofdrippingsprings.com/night-sky/pages/lights-out-dripping-springs. Taking the pledge will help the City track the program and its impact as well as recognize contributions made to bird conservation.
For any questions regarding the Lights Out Dripping Springs and pledge, contact Melanie Blakely at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the City of Dripping Springs at 512-894-2400.