Camp Verde Dark Sky

About us

Who we are:

Located in central Arizona, Camp Verde is graced with the perfect location for beautiful views of the night sky. Camp Verde began its official journey towards its recognition from the International Dark Sky Association in 2000. Read about the history of this work below, as it was written in the town’s application for recognition in 2018:

“The dark sky preservation effort began in earnest in August 2000 when members of the Camp Verde Planning and Zoning Commission, under advisement from the Town Manager, invited representative members of the community to join in the discussion about developing a lighting ordinance for the Town. The goal was to define a practical, energy-efficient and effective measures to mitigate present, and prevent future, obtrusive aspects for excessive lighting while preserving safety and security. In attendance were the: Town of Camp Verde staff, Town Council, Chamber of Commerce, Camp Verde Schools’ Astronomy and Environmental Club, a commercial business owner and private contractors. As a result of this and many subsequent meetings with lighting expert Christian Luginbuhl from the Naval Observatory in Flagstaff, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Town Council approved amendments to the Camp Verde Lighting Code to strengthen dark sky preservation in October 2001.

Since that time, a number of additional amendments to that code, budgetary constraints, and increased commercial and residential impacts, resulted in a gradual diminution of dark skies.These combined factors, along with the recently voter-adopted Camp Verde General Plan (September 2016), have resulted in an additional awareness of the need to celebrate and protect dark skies as one of Camp Verde’s most important natural assets.

In recent and now continuing effort to preserve and protect dark skies, a volunteer, citizen-driven dark sky advocacy group, Camp Verde Dark Sky Advocates (CVDSA) formed in January 2015. Its mission is to preserve Camp Verde’s night skies and enhance local appreciation and enjoyment of these special resources. In an effort to increase awareness and appreciation of the community’s capacity to protect and promote our unique dark sky heritage, CVDSA hosted its first meeting on February 20, 2015 with more than 20 people in attendance. Each attendee received background materials, including a copy of the Town of Camp Verde Planning and Zoning Ordinance Section 405-Outdoor Lighting. Guest speaker Christian Luginbuhl, an internationally recognized researcher in light pollution, astronomer for over 30 years at the Naval Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ, and advocate for dark sky protection, presented a slide show titled “Dark Matters” which was followed by a question and answer session.

Mary McCarthy, Northern Arizona University Intern-turned-Town employee, worked on the International Dark Sky Community application from 2013-2016. Economic Development Specialist, Sebra Choe, and Digital Media Intern, Amber Engelmann, completed the application in spring 2018.”

With so much work done in the past to receive this recognition, we are continuously working to protect our night sky for today and future generations. If you are interested in getting involved with our Dark Sky initiatives here in Camp Verde, please fill out this form.

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For more Camp Verde Dark Sky information contact Sebra Choe, Economic Development, Camp Verde at 928-554-0048

Join us at one of our

next Dark Sky Events.

Come together as a Dark Sky community, and celebrate all things Dark Sky in Camp Verde. 

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