WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) — The city of Wimberley has been named ‘Dark Sky Place of the Year’ for 2023 by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), a non-profit organization that works to combat light pollution.

The city of Wimberley called the title “a remarkable achievement that underscores a commitment to preserving the natural wonder of the night sky.”

Wimberley and neighboring Woodcreek, collectively referred to as Wimberley Valley by IDA, has been a recognized ‘Dark Sky Community’ since 2018.

The community was awarded the ‘Dark Sky Place of the Year’ title for “their enthusiastic and successful efforts to keep the stars shining bright in the Lone Star State,” according to IDA.

“Through education, marketing and a robust community outreach program, they have built a community that treasures the night sky, further preserving their ‘little bit of heaven’ for generations to come,” a statement said.

City leaders celebrated the achievement, calling it a testament to the community. “This recognition reflects the shared vision of all those who have come together to ensure the protection and appreciation of the celestial wonders above Wimberley Valley,” a statement from the city’s park and recreation department said.

Wimberley Valley is just one of several Dark Sky Communities in Texas. Others with the designation include Bee Cave, Blanco, Dripping Springs, Fredericksburg and Horseshoe Bay. The LBJ National Historical Park, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and Big Bend National Park are also considered Dark Sky Places.

Cities must go through a rigorous application process to earn the designation, including extensive outdoor light evaluations and educational workshops to promote the benefits of being a dark sky community.

Flagstaff, Arizona, was the first place to receive the designation in 2001. Since then, more than 200 places across 22 countries have earned the ‘Dark Sky Place’ title.