Florissant Fossil Beds Certified as an International Dark Sky Park

The National Park Service and the International Dark Sky Association are pleased to announce Florissant Fossil Beds as an International Dark Sky Park.

This certification recognizes the exceptional quality of the park’s night skies and provides added opportunities to enhance visitor experiences through astronomy-based interpretive programming.  “We are pleased to be able to provide opportunities for the public to experience the wonders that dark skies provide. The Monument is uniquely located. It is within a reasonable driving distance of a large urban area, yet far enough away and tucked behind some mountains that block urban light pollution, “ said Therese Johnson, park superintendent.

The park was supported through the certification process by many partners with a majority of support coming from the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society (CSAS).  “This is a wonderful achievement to open our nearest National Park Service site to a greater depth of nature experience – from Stumps to the Stars!  We are opening the big dark skies under one of our smaller National Park Service sites.  CSAstro is proud to continually support “Star Party” events with the excellent National Park Service team,” said Bruce Bookout of the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society.

Florissant Fossil Beds will continue to work with our partners and others on future dark sky visitor experiences.

The International Dark Sky Places Program was founded in 2001 as a non-regulatory and voluntary program to encourage communities, parks, and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through responsible lighting polices and public education. Florissant Fossil Beds now joins more than 100 locations that have followed a rigorous application process that demonstrates robust community support for dark sky certification.


About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

About the International Dark-Sky Association: IDA’s mission is to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting. Learn more at www.darksky.org.