Explore the Wonder of the Big Park Community's Night Sky

Dark-Sky Committee

The purpose of the Dark-Sky Committee is to uphold the IDA Dark-Sky Community designation on behalf of Big Park/Village of Oak Creek.

Its scope includes performing the maintenance activities and reporting as required, including the yearly submission of a written report to the IDA summarizing activities: (a) description and dates of interpretive events, outreach, and educational efforts; (b) description of lighting retrofit projects; (c) description of new construction projects; (d) night sky measurement report; (e) coordination of educational activities and events for Big Park / VOC; (f) collaboration with the other International Dark-Sky communities and committees in the Verde Valley; (g) collaborate with Yavapai County government and other local IDA groups to support existing lighting ordinances and updates to the ordinances; (h) foster dark sky curiosity among residents and visitors. Big Park/VOC Dark-Sky Community Annual Report

July 28 Breaking News

The Dark-Sky Committee met with Yavapai County Planning and Development to begin the process of updating the Lighting Ordinance.

The Joy of the Dark Awaits

Photo is courtesy of Elaine Belvin “Milky Way Majesty”  Elaine Belvin Photography.

Big Park/Village of Oak Creek is an accredited International Dark Sky Community. The Dark Sky Committee of the Big Park Council schedules local Dark Sky parties and educational activities.

Yavapai County Planning & Development Services regulates and enforces Dark Sky compliance for Big Park/Village of Oak Creek.  This department can be reached at Planning Division for questions or to report concerns.  A copy of the Ordinance can be viewed or downloaded by clicking: Planning and Zoning Ordinance, Section 603 pages 146-157

In 2001 the International Dark Sky Association designated Flagstaff as the world’s first International Dark Sky City, based on the community’s long-lasting efforts at preserving dark skies.  The Lowell Observatory has been and remains key to these efforts.

To learn more about Dark Skies and the Lowell Observatory, visit their website.

Star Parties in the area

DATE: October 7th
TIME:  2 PM – 9 PM
LOCATION: Red Rock Ranger Station, 8375 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ 86351
EVENT:  The afternoon begins with solar viewing of sunspots and finishes with viewing of stars, galaxies and planets.

DATE: October 14th
EVENT(S): Annular Eclipse – we will be at about 80-90% blockage of the sun.   Additional details will be forthcoming.

About Big Park

The effort to designate the Village began as the result of Sedona’s achievement and has brought greater awareness of dark skies to the area west and south of Sedona.  In order to position the (unincorporated) Village as eligible for an IDSC award, the applicants lobbied for changes to the controlling legislation in the local jurisdiction, resulting in a County-wide policy that brings Dark Sky Community-levels of protection to the entirety of unincorporated Yavapai County.  That outcome is unique in the history of Dark Sky Places.  Furthermore, building off of a successful public outreach program developed for Sedona, the Village has educated many of its residents and property owners on the importance of maintaining the area’s dark nighttime environment.

International Dark-Sky Association Information Excerpts

The following content combines information from the International Dark-Sky Association website along with recommendations from the Dark-Sky Committee of the Big Park Council.  The IDA also recommends lighting to preserve and enhance the Dark Sky phenomenon and those recommendations are also copied below.

Links to the International Dark Sky Association’s website are:

Big Park / Village of Oak Creek, Arizona (U.S.) – International Dark Sky Association

Outdoor Lighting Basics – International Dark Sky Association