Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory and the Oregon Chapter of the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) announced Monday the designation of Sunriver as the newest addition to the International Dark-Sky Association Dark Sky Places Program – as a “Dark Sky Development of Distinction.”
Sunriver is the first “Dark Sky Place” recognized in Oregon and one of only 130+ recognized worldwide to date.
Established in 1988, IDA has led a movement to protect our night skies from light pollution. Their overarching goal, which revolves around the four strategic priorities described below, is to reduce light pollution and promote responsible outdoor lighting that is beautiful, healthy, and functional.
1. Celebrate the Night: Increase awareness of the benefits of the night for all living things, and how light pollution is an urgent environmental threat that individuals can help solve.
2. Dark Sky Protection: Protect exemplary dark skies through our certification program.
3. Lighting Where We Live: Engage cities and communities in reducing light pollution through responsible lighting policy and practice.
4. Skyshed Restoration: Implement coordinated, intentional, and scalable actions to slow, halt, and reverse the increasing rate of light pollution.
“We are honored that IDA has elected to welcome Sunriver into the IDA Dark Sky Places Program”, said Keith Mobley, President of the Sunriver Owners Association Board of Directors. “And we are pleased that our ongoing efforts of the past 60 years to be one with nature are recognized now for our protection of pristine skies from light pollution.”
This time a year ago, Central Oregon was covered in a blanket of snow. Parking lots looked like they had mountains, roads looked like frozen rivers, and homes looked like the gingerbread house’s kids decorate during Christmas time. This year, however, is a whole different story.
Since the winter season began back in late December, Central Oregon has only received about 18 inches of total snowfall. Last year, in a span of just 5 days, the area received 16 inches! The two scenes are quite different.
Even though it hasn’t been the Winter most locals are used to, it doesn’t mean that one can’t enjoy everything Winter has to offer. Drive 30 minutes from Sunriver to Mt. bachelor, and you will see more snow than you can probably handle. It is the best part about the area. Spend the morning shredding down the mountain on what is said to be “the best snow in the world,” then head down to Sunriver and enjoy a nice bike ride on the paved paths, and lunch on the patio.
There aren’t too many places in Oregon, let alone the U.S., where one can experience snow on the mountain, then drive 30 minutes to town to walk on clear paths and enjoy the bright sunshine. It is one of the many reasons Central Oregon is a must-see area.
If you have yet to visit the area, put it on your bucket list. And now is the best time to come! Winter is fading to spring, the birds are starting to chirp in the morning, the sun is warm and bright, and the flowers are beginning to bloom. With events and different activities happening every day, it is the perfect place to spend a nice vacation! We can’t wait to see you here!
Featured March Events:
March 6th: First Friday Art Walk Downtown Bend
March 6th: Night Light at The High Desert Museum
March 7th: Bachelor Butte Dog Derby at Winoga Snow Park
March 9th: Discover the Wild Owyhee at The Tower Theatre
March 13th: Jazz at The Oxford Downtown Bend
March 14th: St Patrick’s Day 5k Dash Downtown Bend
March 27th: High Desert Stampede at The Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center