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Creating a Night Sky Friendly Lighting Management Plan for Boulder City, Nevada.

Boulder City, Nevada

Featured image for the project, Creating a Night Sky Friendly Lighting Management Plan for Boulder City, Nevada.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Boulder City, Nevada is a small community in southern Nevada with an opportunity to improve the quality of life for citizens by improving current outdoor lighting and managing future lighting by developing and adopting a night sky friendly lighting management plan.  Currently, half of the lights in Boulder City are not energy efficient and the other half are excessively bright.   This causes glare and diminishes the small town feel and cultural heritage of the community.  This project will ensure that citizens have appropriate outdoor lighting they can be proud of while offering many benefits including improved safety, reduced energy costs, enhancing natural beauty and historic character and promoting tourism.


About The Community

Boulder City, Nevada is a town of less than 15,000 people in southern Nevada.  This incorporated city, located in Clark County, has a small town charm that is palpable in comparison to neighboring communities of Henderson and Las Vegas.  Boulder City prohibits gambling, a rarity in Nevada, and has a slow growth ordinance limiting new households and large hotels that preserve the historic character of the community.  Boulder City is best known as the gateway to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead National Recreation Area.  This opportunity with Thriving Earth Exchange will support the community’s effort to maintain its individuality in southern Nevada. The creation of a Night Sky Friendly Lighting Management Plan will lay out options that will lead to a Night Sky Designation by the state of NV.  Improved lighting will restore community character, support astrotourism and enhance quality of life for residents.


About The Project

Boulder City, NV is nearby one of the largest tourist destinations in the US, Las Vegas.  Yet a mountain range to the west and dark skies to the east mean that the community has maintained a small town feel with exceptional night skies providing access to the stars for millions of people.  Boulder City recently had many bright glaring lights installed in the city which prompted the community to support a lighting ordinance. The Boulder City Council has directed city staff to create a lighting ordinance. A lighting management plan will be written that lays out a plan for the community to become night sky friendly by following the community ordinance. This plan will ensure that future outdoor lighting meets community standards.  In addition to the lighting management plan, the community and fellow will pursue funding to get lights in the community retrofitted to make a better Boulder City and bring attention to the community as a location for astrotourism.


Timeline and Milestones

The project manager will coordinate meetings related to lighting management with community members, city council and scientists.  The project plan broad details are below.

  • Scope Project (Nov-Dec)
  • Find Scientist able to help assist with lighting management for the community (Jan-Mar)
  • Apply to EDA Grant (Nov-Jan)
  • Take Initial Lighting Measurements (Mar-May)
  • BC Completes Lighting Ordinance (Jan-Mar), (Approved by April)
  • Team Writes Lighting Management Plan (Feb-Nov)
    • Establishment Of Lighting Zones
    • Lighting Inventory
    • Appropriate night sky friendly lighting chosen for lights
    • Acquisition Planning
    • Installation Planning
    • Measurement Planning

Project Team

Community Leads

Joseph Stubitz Headshot

Utilities Director, City of Boulder City, Nevada Joseph Stubitz heads up the City of Boulder City, NV Utilities Services Department where he is responsible for the city’s electrical transmission and distribution system, the water and wastewater system, including the wastewater treatment plant, and the city’s waste management collection, recycle, and landfill operations. Prior to joining the City of Boulder City, Joseph worked for the Bureau of Reclamation as an Electrical Engineer and Internal NERC/WECC Auditor for Power Reliability. Joseph served the Bureau of Reclamation for nearly 18 years working at Hoover, Davis and Parker Dams as an Electrical Engineer and Electronic Equipment Mechanic. Joseph was born and raised in Boulder City, NV and attended Colorado State University earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Science with an Electrical emphasis, a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts with a Sociology emphasis, and a Minor in Political Science. Joseph is a registered Professional Electrical Engineer in the state of Nevada.  Joseph is an avid golfer and enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.




Jill Rowland-Lagan headshot

Jill Rowland-Lagan has been with the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years and truly believes in finding the nexus between economic development and the preservation and respect of our natural resources.  She was born and raised in Boulder City and is passionate in sharing Boulder City’s story of historic charm in a quaint community, while enticing guests to enjoy the thrill of outdoor recreation.  Rowland-Lagan is currently a Commissioner with the Nevada Commission on Tourism and believes that all rural communities in Nevada must be represented by a voice for business, tourism, and thoughtful economic development.  She makes it her mission to be that voice for our great State and her love…Boulder City.

Community Scientist

Bryan Boulanger Headshot

Dr. Bryan Boulanger is a Professor of Environmental Engineering at Ohio Northern University.  Bryan is a past recipient of the US EPA’s Mission Award, a past US National Academy of Science Research Council Associate, and active conservationist.  His work on research to support decision making has led to successful contributions in many different fields.  Since 2015, Bryan has focused on developing tools and practices that decision makers can use to reduce the impact of artificial lightscapes on surrounding nocturnal ecosystems, natural resources, and human experiences.  His innovative tools, lighting designs, and design recommendations have been used to improve natural lightscapes in managed landscapes and communities throughout the United States and Canada.

Community Science Fellow

Ashley Pipkin Headshot

Ashley Pipkin works for the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division of the National Park Service (NPS). She works closely with parks throughout the Pacific West Region of the NPS to provide technical assistance, protect and better understand the acoustic environment and natural night sky resources. Sharing the values of these resources with the public and communicating science is a vital part of her work. Most recently she has been contributing time to the development of the Basin and Range Dark Sky Cooperative, a community of practice that works towards natural night sky protection in the Basin and Range province. She understands that the best way to protect park resources is working with communities and sharing knowledge.

Collaborating Organization(s)

The Basin and Range Dark Sky Cooperative is a community of practice around protecting the excellent Night Skies within the Basin and Range.  This cooperative will provide resources about best practices for night sky friendly lighting.


The Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation supports the protection of Natural Night Skies in the state of Nevada.  The NV Division of Outdoor Recreation will support the project by looking for opportunities to create more natural night skies and supporting the community in dark sky designation.


City Staff at Boulder City will work with this team to find the best lighting to promote a better, safer and more night sky friendly Boulder City.


The Boulder City Chamber of Commerce operates the Nevada State Welcome Center and both strive to provide an excellent visitor experience while in Boulder City.  As a community stakeholder, we have the responsibility to be good stewards to our surrounding environment and work to endure a high quality of life for our residents.  We will be engaged with our supporting partners to see this plan to fruition and shepherd its ongoing improvements to our night sky friendly community.