Breaking News
More () »

Why is the Gateway Arch dark? NPS explains

This has happened every September since 2002.

ST. LOUIS — In an effort to support the annual migration of birds, the National Park Service will extinguish the exterior lights of the iconic Gateway Arch for the entire month of September 2023.

The Gateway Arch typically lights up the night sky with its stunning illumination. The NPS shows stewardship of migratory birds that rely on the Mississippi River corridor during their journey south for the winter.

According to the NPS, approximately 40% of the nation's migratory waterfowl use the Mississippi River corridor during both their spring and fall migrations. 

The bright lights of the Gateway Arch can disorient and disrupt the natural navigation patterns of these avian travelers, potentially endangering their survival. The NPS aims to reduce light pollution in the area, providing a more hospitable environment for the birds as they make their way through this vital migratory corridor.

This conservation-minded initiative to switch off the Arch's exterior lights during September has been in practice since 2002. 

The Gateway Arch will remain unlit for the duration of September. The exterior lights will be reactivated, illuminating the Arch once again, starting on the evening of Sunday, October 1, 2023, and will continue to shine brightly throughout fall and winter.

The NPS's commitment to protecting migratory birds aligns with its broader mission to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the United States. By taking this proactive step, the NPS demonstrates its dedication to environmental conservation and all living creatures in the ecosystem.

To watch 5 On Your Side broadcasts or reports 24/7, 5 On Your Side is always streaming on 5+. Download for free on RokuAmazon Fire TV or the Apple TV app store.

Before You Leave, Check This Out