Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 60

She was stunned by the majesty of night starscapes. Gazing up at the Milky Way was
"awe-inspiring," says Callahan.
"I hadn't really appreciated it
before."
Learning that 99 percent
of Americans live under skies
tainted by light pollution, Callahan wanted to raise awareness
by helping preserve pockets of
near-pristine viewing. Researching actionable possibilities, she
discovered the International Dark-Sky
Association (IDSA). The global organization offers designations for public parks
that meet rigorous viewing standards-
there are currently just 66 in the world.
Of all the parks Callahan visited,
James River was her favorite for viewing.
She quickly contacted superintendent
Andrew Philpot.
If Philpot would authorize development for requisite educational programming and cover the costs of various lighting and signage upgrades, Callahan would

She was stunned by
the majesty of night

rangers to develop educational stargazing experiences.
Lastly, she spearheaded the
application process. The efforts resulted in 99 percent
IDSA compliancy: James River State Park became an International Dark Sky Park in the
spring of 2019.
"Lora worked tirelessly
to make this happen," says
Philpot. "The credit for this
achievement goes to her. Her
passion and dedication were inspiring
and astonishing."
For her part, Callahan calls the experience formative and profound. It inspired
her to study environmental science at Virginia Tech in hopes of undertaking largescale conservation initiatives in the future.
"I worked on this project all through
high school," says Callahan. It taught
her that, if you want to make big things
happen, it takes hard work, sticking to
your guns, and taking one small step at
a time.

starscapes. Gazing up at

the Milky Way was "awe-

inspiring," says Callahan.
handle the legwork.
The process took about two years, 120
hours of work, and, despite donations and
volunteer labor, cost about $3,000. By its
close, special light fixtures and bulbs, and
new informational posters were installed
throughout the park. Callahan then conducted outreach to surrounding community members to help them limit nighttime light pollution, and, in most cases,
secured and installed IDSA approved bulbs
and fixtures.
After that, Callahan worked with

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Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020

Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2020 - Cover4
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