Antelope Island State Park Receives ‘Dark Sky’ Designation

SALT LAKE CITY - After many months of waiting, Antelope Island State Park has officially

been awarded the title of “International Dark Sky Park” by the International Dark-Sky

Association (IDA).

A park is only given this designation after IDA staff have reviewed the area and have

found it to possess “exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and nocturnal

environment.” The association also asks that the land be protected for its natural, educational,

scientific, and/or cultural heritage.

Antelope Island is known worldwide for its stunning landscapes, engaging activities, and

of course the annual Bison Roundup. With this designation only adding to the allure of the park,

Assistant Park Manager Wendy Wilson says things are only up from here.

“We are thrilled,” Wilson said. “Dark skies are a valuable resource that is often overlooked, but

critical to human health, scientific research, wildlife health, and overall safety. We have a lot of

support from the community with our efforts to attain this designation – particularly from

Syracuse City and Davis County.”

J. Scott Feierabend, the IDA Executive Director, said the designation of Antelope Island is a

great step towards raising awareness and gives the community something to be proud of.

“The recognition of Antelope Island State Park as an IDA International Dark Sky Park is another

important achievement in raising the profile of light pollution and dark skies in the greater Salt

Lake City area,” Feierabend said. “Over a million city dwellers have access to naturally dark

nighttime conditions on Antelope Island thanks to the efforts of park staff in promoting

conservation of the resources through appropriate outdoor lighting.”

This brings the total number of official Dark Sky Parks in the Utah State Park division to three.

Antelope Island is preceded by Dead Horse Point State Park and Goblin Valley State Park; both

of which earned their dark sky designation in the summer of 2016. Other state parks within the

division are also looking to begin their designation application process.

To celebrate, Antelope Island State Park is hosting a Star Party on August 26. Members of the

Ogden Astronomical Society will be there to assist and will have telescopes ready. The

celebration starts at 6 p.m. and deep space viewing starts at dark.

Those visiting Antelope Island can visit the Utah State Parks website at stateparks.utah.gov to

check for any upcoming activities and events. For a dark sky experience, keep an eye open for

the Antelope Island star parties and other interpretive dark sky events. Join us for an

experience you’ll remember forever.