GUNNISON, Colo. – The Curecanti National Recreation Area, just west of Gunnison, is officially an International Dark Sky Park.
The National Park Service and the International Dark Sky Association made the announcement on August 5.
Curecanti is the first national recreation area to achieve certification, which recognizes the high quality of its night sky and the possibilities of astronomy-based interpretive programs for visitors.
The Curecanti park rangers currently lead astronomy programs at Elk Creek Campground and Gunnison Valley Observatoryand children are invited to participate in the junior ranger night explorer home program or by picking up a booklet at the Elk Creek Visitor Center.
The cities of Gunnison and Lake City, Gunnison Valley Observatory, Black Canyon Astronomical Society, Western Colorado University, and Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative all supported the certification.
“This designation underscores how special the dark skies of the Gunnison Valley are and how important it is to preserve this natural resource,” said Dr. M. Suzanne Taylor, chair of the observatory’s board of trustees. of Gunnison Valley.
To learn more about the National Recreational Area of Curecanti, Click here.
In June, Colorado’s Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument was also named an International Dark Sky Park. For a complete list of Dark Sky communities, parks, preserves and sanctuaries in Colorado and beyond, Click here.
Founded in 2001, the International Dark Sky Places Program was founded to preserve and protect obscure sites. Each site must go through a rigorous application process to achieve certification.