TORONTO, CANADA (Aug. 2, 2013) – On June 28, 2013 the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) officially designated North Frontenac Township (NFT) as a new RASC Dark Sky Preserve through its National Certification Program. NFT is the 16th Dark Sky Preserve in Canada, and the first Municipality to be designated by the RASC.

North Frontenac Township is in eastern Ontario, southwest of Ottawa and northwest of Kingston.

Through this recognition, North Frontenac Township is committed to protecting the night environment from the impact of artificial lighting. Together with the RASC, the township officials recognizes that natural darkness is an ecological resource in need of protection and both organizations are committed to lighting practices that preserve the beauty and wonder of the dark sky and night environment for all Canadians to enjoy. The RASC is very pleased that North Frontenac Township has taken a leadership role in becoming the first municipality in Canada to embrace dark-sky principles.  It is hoped that this example will inspire other municipalities to also consider such action.

For thirteen years the RASC’s Dark Sky Preserve (DSP) Program has been increasing public awareness of the beauty of the night sky and the deteriorating effects of artificial lighting. DSP’s are regions with exceptionally dark skies accessible to the general public. The lighting protocol for DSP’s restricts the illumination level, extent, duration and colour to minimize its impact on the appearance of the night sky and the behaviour of wildlife. The DSP status will preserve the natural state of the region for the health and vitality of flora and fauna and for the enjoyment of the public.

The lighting protocol is based on wildlife and human research into the biological need for dark nights (scotobiology). The RASC Dark Sky Preserve Program is recognized by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an independent organization that advises UNESCO and national governments on environmental protection issues. It has also been adopted by the International Dark-Sky Association in the United States.

The DSP Program has three objectives: to limit adverse effects of lighting within the Township, provide a guide for suitable lighting used within the township, and suggests lighting policies that may be applied to urban areas beyond the Township boundaries. The latter will protect the DSP from deterioration by surrounding light pollution.

Founded in 1868, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is Canada's leading astronomy organization bringing together more than 4,200 enthusiastic amateurs, educators and professionals. RASC and its 29 Centres across Canada offer both national and local programming and services. RASC is dedicated to the Advancement of Astronomy and Allied Sciences and stimulating and inspiring interest to promote and increase knowledge in astronomy and related sciences in Canada.


For more information please contact: Robert Dick of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada DSP Program at (613) 722-1343 or

Additional Contacts:

North Frontenac Township and Dark Sky Preserve: Betty Hunter, North Frontenac Economic Development Task Force at or Ron Higgins, North Frontenac DSP at             

Scotobiology: Robert Dick at 613-722-1343 or

International Union for the Conservation of Nature, David Welch, Ph.D, Chair, Dark Skies Advisory Group

eNews date: 
Friday, August 2, 2013