By Danielle Chavira

MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – The designation of the 100th International Dark Sky Park now belongs to Mesa Verde National Park, west of Durango. The National Park Service and the International Dark-Sky Association made the announcement on April 5.

They say Mesa Verde National Park has exceptional night skies for stargazing.

READ MORE: Visit The 8 Places In Colorado Designated As International Dark Sky Locations

Point Lookout and Milky Way (credit: NPS, Jacob W. Frank)

The park is home to more than 1,000 species, several of which live nowhere else other than the park. It covers 52,000 acres of land where Ancestral Pueblo people lived from 600 to 1300 CE, park officials say.

The park is now among 37 other places within the National Park Service with a Dark Sky designation. Mesa Verde is among nine other parks and cities in Colorado with dark sky certification.

“This recognition is the result of great work accomplished by employees of Mesa Verde National Park and the Mesa Verde Museum Association. National parks are some of the best places in America to see a breathtaking array of stars, planets, and neighboring galaxies,” said park Superintendent Cliff Spencer.

Having a Dark Sky certification means parks help improve night skies with more energy efficient and sustainable lighting, as wells as education about dark sky-friendly opportunities and programs.

Danielle Chavira