Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park has been designated an International Dark Sky Park

OKEECHOBEE — Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, 33104 NW 192nd Ave, Okeechobee, has been designated an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association. A public ceremony will be held on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 to celebrate this designation.

The first state park in Florida to be a designated dark-sky location, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park has more than 53,000 acres for people who want to explore Florida.

Located in a remote area of south central Florida in Okeechobee and Osceola Counties, the night sky around Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is a cultural and natural resource and is one of the best in the peninsula of Florida.

Several astronomy groups venture to the preserve for imagery, to capture photos, star hop, or simply to gaze at the universe.

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is the first state park to build an astronomy pad dedicated for the use of observing the night sky. Darkness plays a significant role in the health of wildlife and humans.

At the preserve, light pollution, which is the excessive use of artificial light, does not threaten star-gazers and enthusiasts from getting prime visuals of the night sky.

The Florida Park Service strives to preserve and maintain native Florida landscape for generations to come. This park provides a place where visitors can come to connect with the stars.

Stargazing

Stargazing

As mentioned above, a public ceremony will be held on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 to celebrate this designation. More information about this and the International Dark Sky Association can be found at www.IDA.org or www.FloridaStateParks.org.

The Okeechobee News is published every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

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