Copper Breaks State Park, located 13 miles south of Quanah and 22 miles south of the Oklahoma border, has for 19 years capitalized on its superb celestial assets by hosting Star Walks and other astronomy programs, according to park superintendent David Turner. Turner says the park replaced many of its outdoor lights with more efficient, low-light fixtures and retrofitted others to keep light from emanating upward, helping keep night skies darker and lowering energy bills.
Copper Breaks State Park in the Panhandle Plains and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in the Hill Country are the first Texas state parks to be designated International Dark Sky Parks by the International Dark-Sky Association. Copper Breaks and Enchanted Rock, which were awarded the highest “Gold-tier” night skies status by IDA, join Big Bend National Park and the City of Dripping Springs as the only locations in Texas to have earned the coveted Dark Sky Places recognition. For many years, Texas state parks in rural areas, such as Copper Breaks and Enchanted Rock, have conducted regular star-gazing programs and events to engage and educate the public about the importance of preserving pristine night skies that make the viewing of constellations, planets, stars, satellites and other objects possible.
Chelynne Campion is a Production/ Sales Assistant for EarthSky. Her family just purchased a telescope, and she's now learning to be a stargazer!