Starry symposium: Gorge Night Sky events in Goldendale, The Dalles

The Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, Friends of the Goldendale Observatory and the Goldendale Chamber of Commerce invite you join them for the Gorge Night Sky Symposium, Aug. 18-19.

With the increase of highly efficient LED lighting options, homeowners, businesses, and cities are upgrading their outdoor lights.

While the efficiencies in lighting are increasing, the amount of light pollution is also rising. This increase in light pollution poses a risk to the rural dark sky in the Columbia River Gorge and Goldendale Observatory State Park, only one of only 20 International Dark-Sky Association certified observatories on earth.

The Symposium, part of the larger Gorge Night Sky project, is intended to help educate Columbia River Gorge communities about the appropriate use of LED lighting technology for outdoor illumination, encourage use of products that maintain or increase energy efficiency and cost savings, and meet Dark Sky objectives, and to encourage astronomy education.

The Gorge Night Sky Symposium will be hosted at Goldendale Observatory State Park in Goldendale, on the evening of Aug. 18, and at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles, all day on Aug. 19. The event will focus on bringing together lighting professionals, astronomy experts, lighting vendors and large end-users, utilities, city and county decision-makers, and the community to discuss light pollution issues, Dark Sky standards and possible solutions in the Columbia River Gorge, such as stocking energy efficient LED options that meet standards, point of sale rebate programs, and developing local lighting ordinances. Sponsors are Google, IBEW 48, North Coast Electric, Platt Electric, and Slatercom.

Registration deadline is Aug. 14, and space is limited.

Registration is online at

You can register for the full symposium or just one day. Details and costs are outlined at right.

Registration fees:

Full Symposium — $55;

Aug. 18 — $35 starting at 5 p.m., includes dinner, drinks (Maryhill Winery and Ecliptic Brewing), entrance to Goldendale Observatory, opportunity to see keynote speaker and presentations;

Aug. 19 — $25 starting at 8:30 a.m., includes morning coffee service, lunch, and access to keynote speaker, presentations, discussion sessions, and vendor exhibits at the Discovery Center;

Gorge Technology Alliance members will receive a $10 discount. For more information, contact Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, 515 East Second Street, The Dalles, OR 97058; phone 541-296-2266.

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