By Anita Miller
The city of Dripping Springs wants you to know that some fly-by-night operators are coming to town.
But instead of turning out to welcome them or worse, alerting the authorities, what’s being asked of city residents is simple — turn off outside lights.
That’s because the visitors, who are expected to be arriving throughout October, are winging their way. Migratory birds from hummingbirds and warblers to sparrows and geese, annually travel hundreds to thousands of miles each year and their primary pathway is the Central Flyway, which cuts right through Central Texas.
Lights Out Dripping Springs encourages local homes and businesses to turn out exterior lights through the end of next month in order to make their journey easier, and to cut down the possibility they will be disoriented.
“Most of these birds make their journey at night, visualizing the magnetic pull of the earth and using the moon and stars to set their course,” the city’s Communications Director Lisa Sullivan said. “By taking part in Lights Out Dripping Springs and reducing skyglow over Dripping Springs, residents and businesses can help them make it to their destinations safely.
The effort is part of the Audubon Society’s annual initiative, which was established in 1999. The strategy is simple: by turning off excess lighting during migratory months, communities can help provide them safe passage between their nesting and wintering grounds.
Lights Out Dripping Springs is asking residents and businesses to take the pledge and follow some of these guidelines to help during the upcoming months:
• Turn off exterior decorative lighting
• Use light only when and where needed
• Use only as much light as needed
• Aim needed lights down
• Extinguish pole and floodlights
• Minimize blue light emissions
• Use energy efficient lighting sources and fixtures
• Use timers, dimmers and motion sensors
• Select warm LED bulbs that are under a 3,000 Kelvin rating.
• Draw blinds or curtains to reduce light spill that contributes to sky glow.
• Businesses can substitute task and area lighting for workers staying late or pull window coverings and reduce atrium lighting wherever possible.
• Residents and businesses can take the Lights Out Dripping Springs Pledge here: cityofdrippingsprings.com/page/parks_lightsoutdrippingsprings. Taking the pledge will help the city track the program and its impact as well as recognize contributions made to bird conservation.
For any questions regarding the Lights Out Dripping Springs and pledge, contact Maggie Martin email@example.com, or call 512-858-4725.