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Open house to show Heberites how they can reduce light pollution

This year, three Wasatch High School students took on a project called the Heber Valley Dark Sky Initiative. They said they aspire to become the “central hub for all things dark sky in the Heber Valley.”

Students are hosting an open house Thursday to raise awareness of how to keep the night skies dark over Heber City and Wasatch County.

The project began as a request from Heber City, who regularly works with high school students on community impact projects. This is done through the Center for Advanced Professional Studies program, which connects students with opportunities through local business, government and industry mentors.

After creating new rules to curb light pollution, Heber City and Wasatch County want to show residents how to limit the amount of light they send into the sky.

“The most effective way to reduce light pollution is through citizen participation,” said CAPS Dark Sky Team student Eli Gordon. “We are focusing on what citizens can do to reduce their own light pollution footprint. The aim of our open house is to spread as much valuable information as possible.”

Gordon said there are three ways people in the Heber area can help: use low Kelvin lights, install fully-off lights, and turn off outside lights at 10 p.m. or when they go to bed.

Gordon, along with students Polly Fotheringham and Emma Anthony, plan to send flyers to Heber homes and educate consumers by placing indicators next to dim, sky-compliant lights at a hardware store in town.

Weston Broadbent is the Principal of Wasatch High School CAPS. He said these efforts result in a strong work experience as students work to create solutions that matter to their communities.

“Their involvement has ranged from attending meetings to designing stickers they just got approved by ACE Hardware that say ‘Heber Valley Dark Sky Approved,'” Broadbent said. “They did research on what it means to be approved for dark skies and how that helps or doesn’t help and how we can do it that would work in our valley.”

Thursday’s event will be held in front of Heber City Hall at 75 North Main Street from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

City Manager Matt Brower will also be there to answer residents’ questions about the city government’s Dark Sky Ordinance 2021 and other measures it is taking.

There are also food trucks, free lightbulbs, a campfire and maybe even a telescope.

Heber City was last updated city wide dark skies rule in August 2021 and Wasatch County right now updated its regulation on April 20, 2023.


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