INTERNATIONAL DARK SKY PLACES
What is an International Dark Sky Place?
The International Dark Sky Places Program promotes preservation and protection of night skies across the globe. Three types of areas compose the program; communities, parks, and reserves. The links below will lead you to more information about each of these. Preserving dark skies starts locally, with a dedicated group of citizens, staff, or volunteers. IDA International Dark Sky Parks and Reserves are home to some of the darkest and most pristine skies in the world. IDA International Dark Sky Communities are filled with citizens concerned for the many factors that dark skies depend on and while their skies may not be perfect, they are examples to the world of how a city may light the streets without lighting the sky above.
These locations serve as reminders that with quality outdoor lighting, the extraordinary wonders of the nighttime sky and night environment are just as much a part of our lifestyle and history as are the daylight hours. In fact, without the inspiration from night sky objects, much of the world's history, art, culture, music, and literature would not have been created. This is why the International Dark Sky Places Program aims to protect locations of exceptional nighttime visages for future generations. IDSPlaces celebrate this rich heritage with innovative outreach programs meant to inspire others to cherish the sky and return the night sky to children and people of the world.
International Dark Sky Places Programs:
To start the application process please fill out this form.
Click the link above to see what our International Dark Sky Places look like from above. These images are provided by NASA Earth Observatory's release of the 'Black Marble.' Learn more on their website and in IDA's press release. Take a look yourself using the ease of Google.
Designation almost always starts with a small group of individuals who organize to seek formal protection of their nightscape. Designations are open to communities and publicly and privately managed land areas. Please read the IDSPlaces FAQ to learn more.
Updated guidelines for communities, parks, and reserves have been released. Please refer to these new guidelines when applying for designation.
If you are interested in developing or are currently developing an application for a location we encourage you to consider these new guidelines. Locations that are currently developing applications, and have made substantial progress (as approved by the IDA program manager) will have until 25 November 2013 to complete and submit their applications under the previous guidelines. The previous guidelines have been removed from the website but are available upon request. To submit under the previous guidelines you must have contact with the program manager and receive approval.
As part of the new guidelines bi-monthly submission deadlines will be set. These dates will be updated yearly. The deadlines represent the date that the applications (already reviewed and approved by the IDA program manager) will be sent to the committee. This year's dates are listed below:
Next view the FAQ below and the Guidelines on the webpage of the type of designation you are interested in pursuing (community, park, or reserve).
What is a dark sky survey? How does it help conserve dark sky places?
Steve Owens, a member of the team behing the smashing success of IDSPlace Galloway Forest Park, shares his extensive knowledge on the first steps to creating a successful IDSPlace in the Dark Sky Diary (18 December 2010).
Banners in Harmony, FL showing off the Dark Sky Friendly Development of Distinction Logo
Naming Of Two New International Dark Sky Places Highlights UK Commitment To Dark Night Skies
IDA is proud to recognize Northumberland International Dark Sky Park and Isle of Coll International Dark Sky Community for their exceptional efforts in helping preserve and promote dark night skies over Britain. This brings to six the total number of IDA International Dark Sky Places in the UK, second only to the United States. Read the press release >>
IDA on TV
IDA Executive Director Bob Parks was recently interviewed about light pollution on CBS This Morning. Watch the video here.
Light Pollution in Men's Journal
The December 2013 issue of Men's Journal has a nine-page article on light pollution. Read "How Light Pollution is Stealing the Night Sky."
IDA's Current Lighting Estimates
Check out IDA's new lighting estimates: World Outdoor Lighting Facts. Click here to see a larger graphic
Member of the IDA Board of Directors interviewed on slashdot.org:
IDA Board Member, Kelly Beatty, was interviewed on Slashdot about the importance of protecting the night sky and how LEDs are encouraging the change. Read More >>
New Mexican Skies Protected with Dark Sky Park Designation
The 34,000-acre Chaco Culture National Historical Park has been designated as the world's newest "Gold Tier" International Dark Sky Park. Read more >>
IDA Dark Sky Giveaway Winner
Skyglow Berlin Project for Kids
Interest in our International Dark Sky Places is on the rise. Learn all about them here.>>
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