Dark-Sky Preserves and Urban Star Parks
The RASC has developed formal guidelines and requirements for two types of light-restricted protected areas: Dark-Sky Preserves and Urban Star Parks. 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 or an Urban Star Park, 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.
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.
Complete 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.
More details on our web site are available for the following parks: