Sooner or later, most amateur astronomers will realize that their once dark sky backyard is becoming more and more light polluted. As cities grow, they typically install more and more street lamps and other illumination. These lights are often poorly designed and waste copious amounts of light into the sky, ruining the view of the night sky. While this may seem trivial to non-astronomers, the absence of stars in the night sky has real effects on the non-astronomers' thoughts on our place in the universe. Even so, not all of our land is ruined by this light pollution yet. There exists state- and nationally-protected parks that are intended to preserve such natural resources as a dark sky, and you'd be surprised to find that the closest one to you isn't that far away! The following websites are great places to find information on dark sky sites near you!