NewsCovering Colorado


Florissant Fossil Beds certified as an International Dark Sky Park

Florissant Fossil Bed National Monument
Posted at 3:18 PM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 17:18:45-04

FLORISSANT, Colo. — The Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument has been named an International Dark Sky Park, which recognizes the quality of the park's night skies and educational opportunities and experiences for visitors.

The National Park Service and the International Dark Sky Association certified the park as such in early June.

Therese Johnson, park superintendent, said they are happy to provide opportunities for the public to experience the dark skies from the park.

“The monument is uniquely located," she said. "It is within a reasonable driving distance of a large urban area, yet far enough away and tucked behind some mountains that block urban light pollution."

Multiple agencies supported this certification, including the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society (CSAS). Bruce Bookout with CSAS said the organization is proud to support Star Party events with National Park Service team staff.

The Florissant Fossil Beds is one of more than 100 locations that have a dark sky certification.

The International Dark Sky Places Program was founded in 2001 to encourage parks and protected areas to preserve dark sites with responsible lighting polices and public education.

You can also visit these other Colorado spots that are on the International Dark-Sky Association's list of Dark Sky Parks:

  • The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
  • Mesa Verde National Park

For a full list of Dark Sky communities, parks, reserves and sanctuaries, click here.