Boulder City Receives Grant for Dark Skies Initiative

The City of Boulder City, in conjunction with the Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation, recently announced that the City is the recipient of a $1.9 million grant from the US Economic Development Authority (EDA). The grant money will be used to retrofit all of the municipal fixtures with energy-efficient, light-pollution reducing lighting. This will result in a significant cost savings for the City, as well as curb greenhouse gas emissions, protect natural ecosystems and native wildlife from critical light pollution impacts, and advance sustainable dark sky recreation and tourism opportunities for residents and tourists. The new lights will be dimmable, eco-friendly fixtures.

The project is scheduled to begin in 2023 and is a critical step in the city’s efforts to achieve Dark Skies Community Certification. If the International Dark Skies Association (IDA) approves the designation, Boulder City would become one of Nevada’s first designated communities.

“I’m thrilled to see Nevada receive federal funding that will help local communities retrofit their lighting in order to allow for better viewing of our world-class night skies,” said Nevada Lieutenant Governor Lisa Cano Burkhead. “As Chair of the Advisory Board on Outdoor Recreation, I’ll take every chance i can to encourage everyone to get outside and explore our beautiful state, and this helps locals and tourists do just that.”

Councilman James Howard Adams, who formally proposed the project to the City City remarked, “I am beyond happy to see Boulder City has been awarded this grant. With it, we will be able to improve the health and safety of our community, while also providing economic benefit to our local businesses.”

This sentiment was echoed by City Manager Taylour Tedder. “This EDA investment in Boulder City’s lighting infrastructure is a great step towards our goals of preserving the dark skies of our community and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area for their natural and cultural value. My hope is that this project will help us move forward a goal of becoming a certified dark sky community, and preserve our community’s quality of life. We appreciate the support of Senator Cortez Masto, Senator Jacky Rosen and the State of Nevada on this project.”

“The Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation is excited to support this innovative project to reduce light pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while providing stellar opportunities for families and visitors to enjoy Boulder City under the stars,” said Colin Robertson, Administrator of the Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation. “I thank the EDA for supporting this tremendous project, and I’m grateful to our many partners – including Boulder City, Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, National Park Service, and numerous outdoor recreation small businesses – for their collaboration in securing these funds and supporting sustainable outdoor recreation and tourism in Nevada. Preserving a place’s special qualities like Boulder City’s starry night skies, helps ensure these important natural resources can be enjoyed and protected for generations to come.”

The IDA offers a lot of good information about the benefits of dark skies on its website HERE. For example, more lighting doesn’t equate to safer communities. In fact the opposite may be true. They also offer suggestions for responsible lighting:

The IDA has also calculated the costs of wasteful inferior lighting and its effect on the planet and cost to local governments and residents.

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