There Association (IDA) announced today it has designated the first International Dark Sky Park in the southeastern United States. In recognizing the Blue Ridge Observatory and Star Park, IDA is pleased to acknowledge the work of Mayland Community College (MCC) in preserving a threatened dark-sky location while advancing its educational mission and vision of bringing the experience of primeval night to locals and visitors alike. The six-acre site, surrounded by rugged mountain terrain and the Pisgah National Forest, is owned by Yancey County and is managed by Mayland Community College. The site is co-located with the EnergyXchange, a project in which methane waste gas emitted by an old landfill heats horticultural greenhouses and artists