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Steinaker State Park receives International Dark Sky designation

VERNAL — Steinaker State Park has been awarded International Dark Sky Park status from the International Dark Sky Association.

It’s the fourth state park in Utah to receive a dark sky designation, joining Antelope Island, Goblin Valley and Dead Horse Point. The park is located 7 miles north of the city of Vernal on U.S. 191.

In order to earn international honor, park staff took measurements of the quality of its night sky over the course of a year and a half; held educational night sky events; and changed bulbs and fixtures at the park to enhance views of the stars.

“Having internationally recognized dark skies bolsters our ability to attract more visitors and offer more night programming, which results in more people enjoying our parks at more times of the day,” Fred Hayes, director of Utah State Parks, said in a statement.

According to the statement, there are a dozen more state parks that are in various stages of the International Dark Sky Park application process.