I would like to think that there are hundreds if not thousands of cities and towns across the U.S. with ordinances that protect the night skies from light noise; from street lights and traffic lights to regulations on commercial industry looking to invest and build in cities and towns.
In fact, dark-sky ordinances have found a place in general plans across the country and Apache Junction is no exception.
There are only 23 cities worldwide with 17 in the states and only six in Arizona --- Sedona, Flagstaff and Fountain Hills just to name a few --- that have made the commitment to protect their dark skies and achieve certification from the International Dark Skies Association.
The more I looked into the certification process the more I realized what a unique opportunity this could be for Apache Junction.
I believe this certification would be a fantastic addition to the Apache Junction resume by achieving international recognition, protecting our national landscapes and making a commitment to our citizens taking our dark-skies ordinance to the next level.
The process of obtaining IDA certification takes 1.5 to three years and will take full efforts from staff along with the mayor and council to achieve this goal. This is why I introduced this endeavor to the mayor and council at the March 3 council meeting.
After a brief presentation with some questions and concerns, we all agreed moving forward would be great for Apache Junction.
It will be a long road, but I know working together we can make this happen.
Let’s make it official.
Editor’s note: Mr. Schroeder recently spearheaded discussion at a council meeting on limiting lighting to ensure dark skies and seeking an international designation. See the story at yourvalley.net/apache-junction-independent/stories/dark-skies-designation-suggested-for-city-of-apache-junction,144645?