Desert stargazing
Stargazing in East County. Photo by Andy Shaver

Community leaders and elected officials gathered Friday afternoon to reveal new “Entering Julian” and “International Dark Sky Community” signs that will be installed along State Route 78 and State Route 79, to help encourage more stargazers, visitors and shoppers to restaurants and businesses located in the East County town.

As one of only two communities in the state with dark-sky designation, Julian has taken steps to preserve the darkness of the night sky and the view of the stars and planets by limiting light pollution.

“Thanks to the Julian Dark Sky Network, our children and grandchildren will get to experience the beauty of the natural night and enjoy skies full of stars protected from urban light,” said San Diego County Supervisor Joel Anderson, who represents most of East County. “East County is grateful to the dedicated community members who helped Julian earn their accreditation as an International Dark Sky Community. I applaud their efforts to preserve Julian’s dark skies for our future generations.”

Residents established the Julian Dark Sky Network in 2016, working with the county for several years to enact an outdoor lighting ordinance that made the certification possible, according to Caltrans.

Dark skies are important to astronomers for better viewing in rural communities, along with businesses that benefit from related tourism. San Diego County adopted a light pollution policy in 1985.


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Ellen Bullock