HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Harrisburg is joining Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in taking part in the Lights Out Program.
The goal is to help protect birds that are migrating back north for the summer. But, some residents have expressed concern because of the recent violence.
State officials say birds are struggling at night to navigate past tall buildings in the city of Harrisburg. The Lights Out Harrisburg effort is designed to address that problem.
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“Birds, unfortunately, fly into high rise buildings because they can’t see them and they see their reflection and think it’s another bird,” Communications Director for Harrisburg Matt Maisel said.
Many state office buildings now have their lights off at night so the birds won’t get distracted. City residents are also asked to do their part.
“To turn off their external lights in order to reduce ambient light, so they will help the birds not crash into these buildings at night when they can see them,” Maisel said.
Announced on Wednesday, April 20, the Pennsylvania Department of General Services is removing the spotlights from the Capitol Dome and turning out the lights in the atrium of the Keystone Building.
The goal is to have residential porch lights off between midnight and 6 a.m. Maisel says some people have expressed concerns because of the recent violence in the city.
“Go ahead and keep your lights on. We don’t want you to do anything out of your comfort zone,” Masiel said.
Lights out do not include neighborhood street lights.
“The street lights are staying on. We are well aware there is a concern about the safety of our residents because of the spike we are seeing in crime,” Maisel said.
The Lights Out Program in Harrisburg began April 1 and will run through the end of May.