The Calgary Centre (Larry McNish) has assembled the above map with all the DS
areas plotted. Click on the stars and you will visit each designated area's web site.
Dark-Sky PreservesTM, Urban Star ParksTM and Nocturnal PreservesTM
The RASC has developed formal guidelines and requirements for three types of light-restricted protected areas: Dark-Sky Preserves, Urban Star Parks and Nocturnal Preserves. We are officially recognizing parks in Canada that apply for an official designation and meet these guidelines. Many parks across Canada have been designated in recent years - see the list below. If you have a favourite dark site, perhaps it could be designated by the RASC as a Dark-Sky Preserve, an Urban Star Park or Nocturnal Preserve, so please let us know by sending us an email to Light-Pollution Abatement Committee Chair.
Dark-Sky Preserve (DSP)
A Dark-Sky Preserve is an area in which no artificial lighting is visible and active measures are in place to educate and promote the reduction of light pollution to the public and nearby municipalities. Sky glow from beyond the borders of the Preserve will be of comparable intensity, or less, to that of natural sky glow.
Urban Star Park (USP)
An Urban Star Park is an area in which artificial lighting is strictly controlled and active measures are in place to educate and promote the reduction of light pollution to the public and nearby municipalities. Sky glow from beyond the borders of the Reserve may be visible to observers within the area, but the skies are still usable for astronomy.
Nocturnal Preserve (NP)
A Nocturnal Preserve is an area in which artificial lighting is strictly controlled and active measures are in place to educate and promote the reduction of light pollution to the public and nearby municipalities. The primary focus is to protect the nighttime environment, and astronomical access is not a prerequisite.
Other non-RASC Designation Types
In addition to the stringent guidelines set by the RASC, there are organizations outside of Canada that also are promoting preservation of dark skies. These designations are included here as a convenience, but do not imply endorsement or acceptance by the RASC.
List of RASC Recognized Dark-Sky Preserves
These parks fulfilled the requirements of the RASC Dark-Sky Preserve, and we encourage them to use the Dark-Sky Preserve designation.
- Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve, ON - 1999
- McDonald Park Dark-Sky Park, Fraser Valley, BC - 2003 (from Fraser Valley Astronomer's Society)
- Cypress Hills Inter-Provincial Park Dark-Sky Preserve, SK/AB - 2004
- Point Pelee National Park, ON - 2006
- Beaver Hills Dark-Sky Preserve, AB - 2006
- Mont-Mégantic International Dark-Sky Preserve, QC - 2007 (from IDA)
- Gordon's Park, Manitoulin Island, ON - 2008
- Grasslands National Park, SK - 2009
- Bruce Peninsula National Park and Five Fathoms National Marine Park, ON - 2009
- Kouchibouguac National Park, NB - 2009
- Mount Carleton Provincial Park, NB - 2009
- Kejimkujik National Park, NS - 2010
- Fundy National Park, NB - 2011
- Jasper National Park Dark-Sky Preserve, AB - 2011
- Bluewater, Wiarton, ON - 2012
- Wood Buffalo National Park, AB - 2013
- North Frontenac Township, ON - 2013
List of RASC Recognized Urban Star Parks
These parks fulfilled the requirements of the RASC Urban Star Park, and we encourage them to use the Urban Star Park designation.
Irving Nature Park, Saint John, NB - 2011
Cattle Point, Victoria, BC - 2013
List of RASC Recognized Nocturnal Preserves
These parks fulfilled the requirements of the RASC Nocturnal Preserve, and we encourage them to use the Nocturnal Preserve designation.
Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area, AB - 2015
Old Man on His Back Ranch, SK - 2015
More details on our website are available for the various designated parks using the links at upper left.