Dark-Sky Sites

Dark-Sky Sites

Dark-Sky Preserves™, Urban Star Parks™ and Nocturnal Preserves™

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. The focus of our Canadian Program primarily is to protect the nocturnal environment, therefore our outdoor lighting requirements are the most stringent, but also the most effective. We officially recognize Canadian Parks and other areas that meet these guidelines and successfully apply for one of these designations. Many parks across Canada have been designated in recent years - see the list below. If you have a favourite dark site, please encourage them to start the designation process by sending an email to the RASC National Office or the DS Program Manager.

Dark-Sky Preserve (DSP)

bilingual dsp logo 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)

usp bilingual logo 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)

NP CP Bilingual BilingueA 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

Some Parks may choose to use more outdoor lighting than permitted in the Canadian DS Program but there are organizations outside of Canada that also are promote preservation of dark skies. These designations are included here as a convenience.

A Canadian DS Designation automatically results in a listing by the IUCN-DSAG.

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.

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.

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.

The links in the sidebar on the left side of this page provide more details on some of these parks.

© 2018 RASC Halifax Centre
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Friday, November 13, 2020 - 3:07pm