11th Annual Amazing Earthfest Springs to Life

By Rich Csenge, Founding Director

 

Southern Utah’s Amazing Earthfest begins its 11th consecutive festival year with seven days of fascinating experiential learning, outdoor adventure, arts, science, community building and award winning documentary film events, May 14-20, 2017.  Mark your calendars now. This is the year to celebrate the beloved natural heritage of all Americans: Our National and State Parks, Forests, Monuments, and all the BLM Public Lands in between!

The theme for Kanab’s signature festival of learning, discovery, arts and outdoor adventure this year is: “Preserving Dark Skies over the Colorado Plateau.”

In a truly exciting trend that gives this remarkable four-state region part of its world-class distinction, awareness of exceptionally dark skies across the Colorado Plateau is growing. Leading a movement for astro-tourism, and to protect this diminishing resource, Utah’s National and State Parks are stepping forward to earn coveted “Dark Sky Park” designations while their gateway cities and towns are exploring and enacting local ordinances to join in the preservation effort. Glare-free, dark sky friendly outdoor lighting beautifies a community.

Here’s something to ponder. All sentient beings evolved with natural cycles of daylight followed by darkness in a rhythm so reliable that immune system health, feeding and reproductive habits of countless species, including humans, are dependent upon it. Natural darkness is important for achieving optimum health. But for many humans and non-human animals, these beneficial natural conditions have been lost due to excessively bright and unshielded nighttime lighting.

To preserve natural darkness, more foresight and good planning are urgently needed! Worldwide, light pollution is rapidly eliminating visibility of the stars at night for millions living in populous inner cities, urban, suburban and even rural regions of the developed world. An astonishing 80% of Americans cannot see the Milky Way from where they live!

A half-dozen dark sky/astronomy awareness events will be offered at the 11th Amazing Earthfest by individual astronomers and night sky photographers, nonprofits and agencies including David Swindler of Action Photo Tours in Kanab, Bettymaya Foott of the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative, amateur astronomer Randy Dunning from Cedar City, former Director of the Hansen Planetarium in Salt Lake City, Von Del Chamberlain of Kanab and rangers from Bryce Canyon National Park, among others. A great opportunity you won’t want to miss to enjoy the night sky and learn more about this critical quality of life issue.

To encourage self-directed exploration of the limitless natural attractions around southern Utah and the Arizona Strip, Amazing Earthfest will organize approximately 35 events during the week. Festival volunteers and organizers rejoice!  Visit www.AmazingEarthfest.org for complete event information, to volunteer or donate to this dedicated local nonprofit.

 


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