Light Pollution is a major, growing problem for most amateur astronomers; a growing world population and relatively inexpensive power have lead to brighter nights and degraded observing in many areas (Just a glance at the satellite photo at right makes this very apparent).
Light pollution is a waste of power, leading to increased energy use and it's related environmental problems and can have impact on wildlife and plants.
Stellafane urges you to help solve this problem. The International Dark-Sky Association has provided leadership and great results in reducing light pollution. They need your support; please consider joining and supporting the IDA today if you have not already.
If you live in New England, as we do, you should also be aware of the New England Light Pollution Advisory Group (NELPAG), a local volunteer group founded in 1993 to work on outdoor lighting issues.
The Springfield Telescope Makers are very grateful for the help and support provided by the IDA (as well as many other individuals and organizations) in negotiating an agreement with the State of Vermont to significantly reduce light pollution at the Southern Vermont Correctional Facility ("Springfield Prison") which opened a few miles from Stellafane in 2003 (See Stellafane 2003 News Item).
You should also review the Good Neighbor Outdoor Lighting Guide (PDF) to make sure you are not contributing to the problem. There is great information about what good outdoor lighting is all about, putting light on the ground where it is needed and not spilling wasted light into the sky, contributing to the sky glow problem.
Please take the time to educate yourself about light pollution issues, and make an effort to improve the situation in any way you can - the future of backyard astronomy depends on it.