After many years of hard work and determination, the city of Blanco was recently designated as an International Dark Sky Community. An International Dark Sky Community is a community that has shown exceptional dedication to the preservation of the night sky through the implementation and enforcement of a quality outdoor lighting ordinance, dark sky education, and citizen support of dark skies.
Culminating a grassroots effort that began in 2007, the official designation comes thanks to the hard work of the City of Blanco, the Blanco Chamber of Commerce, and the Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky in protecting the night sky above and around the city from light pollution. PEC also played a role, coordinating with Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky on street light specifications and helping them work through their application.
“We literally could not have accomplished this without the support of PEC,” said Wayne Gosnell, president of Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky. “We deeply appreciate all the help the co-op provided to get us here.”
With Blanco’s designation, four of the five International Dark Sky Communities are now in our service territory, so we know how important preserving our precious starry night sky is to our members. The Texas Hill Country’s natural beauty is one of the reasons PEC’s service territory has seen unprecedented growth in recent years, but this rapid growth comes with the potential to diminish the darkness of our skies at night. In 2021, PEC began upgrading street and area lights across our service territory to make them more energy efficient and dark-sky friendly as part of our Cooperative Lighting Program.
“PEC played a big role in the helping the City of Blanco meet the requirements necessary for this designation,” said Vicki Guidry, vice president of Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky. “We are all grateful for their commitment to the values, health, and prosperity of our community.”