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For the birds: Why Reunion Tower is going dark for a few weeks

“Turning off non-essential lighting at night for a few weeks helps our ecosystem, conserves energy, and saves money," Mayor Eric Johnson said.

DALLAS — The stars in the Dallas sky may be a little brighter over the next month, as the city is hosting “Lights Out Nights,” urging the community to dim or turn off their lights.

This proclamation, issued by the Dallas mayor’s office on Earth Day, April 22, will continue through May 12—a key migratory period for birds in the U.S. 

Light pollution in cities like Dallas can disorient birds migrating at night, which may cause them to collide into buildings as a result.

One such building participating in the initiative will be Reunion Tower, which will be dimming from midnight to 8 a.m. on Earth Day, and again that night from 7 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. For the remainder of the migratory period, the tower will be dimming its lights at 50% output from dusk to 111 p.m., go fully dark from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., and 50% output again from 6 a.m. to sunrise.

“Lights Out Nights” is part of former First lady Laura Bush’s Lights Out Texas Initiative, which Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson has supported in the past.

“Dallas is a global leader in addressing environmental issues,” Johnson said. “And on Earth Day, I am proud to say that the people of our city have made major strides by taking small steps, such as this one, together.”

The proclamation states that nearly two billion birds travel through Texas every spring and fall, representing between a quarter and a third of all birds migrating across the country.

“Lights Out Nights have become a worthwhile tradition in Dallas, and I encourage all of our residents and businesses to again participate if they are able to do so safely,” Johnson said. “Turning off non-essential lighting at night for a few weeks helps our ecosystem, conserves energy, and saves money.”

The proclamation details that Dallas ranked third in the 125 most populous American cities for exposing birds to light pollution and that the city is one of seven certified by Texas Parks and Wildlife as a “Bird City.”

All Dallas business owners and residents are encouraged to turn off all non-essential lights around the city between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. during the migration period.


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