Jackson Lake State Park in Morgan County has been designated as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association, becoming just the fifth park and eighth total location in Colorado to receive the designation and the only site located east of I-25.
Jackson Lake State Park is located in Orchard, Colorado, adjacent to the South Platte River, approximately an hour-and-a-half northeast of Denver. The park boasts 260 campsites, hiking trails, world class water recreation and fishing, a diverse wildlife population and 5,295 acres of land and water to explore.
“It’s so exciting,” said Park Ranger Amy Brandenburg, who led Jackson Lake’s application process with the IDSP program. “It’s a new opportunity for visitors to come out and enjoy Jackson Lake.”
“We worked with Morgan County Rural Electric Association to eliminate the large street lamps from the park and then we also did a ton of updates and elimination to the fixtures in the park itself,” Brandenburg said. “On the bathroom buildings, we removed, or changed out fixtures to be dark sky compliant. Inside of the bathrooms we also put the lighting in the shower houses on motion sensors.”
“The dedication that Amy, the Jackson Lake State Park staff, volunteers and donors have put in motion over the past four years is incredible and the transformation of their park is truly inspiring,” said Ryan Parker, IDA Colorado Chapter Chairman. “Jackson Lake is graced with dark nighttime skies, which have brought many amateur and expert astronomers to the park. Guests can take advantage of the vast, open night skies of the prairie individually, or through interpretive programs offered within the park.”