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International Dark Sky Communities

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An IDA International Dark Sky Community is a town, city, municipality or other legally organized community that has shown exceptional dedication to the preservation of the night sky through the implementation and enforcement of a quality outdoor lighting ordinance, dark sky education and citizen support of dark skies. Dark Sky Communities excel in their efforts to promote responsible lighting and dark sky stewardship, and set good examples for surrounding communities.

Certified IDA International Dark Sky Communities

Certify an International Dark Sky Community

IDA certifies International Dark Sky Places following a rigorous application process requiring applicants to demonstrate robust community support for dark sky protection and document category-specific program requirements. Learn more and start the process here.

Download the current International Dark Sky Community Guidelines

International Dark Sky Community Guidelines (PDF)
Community (IDSC) Applicant Self-Checklist (May 2023)

Submission and Review Process

Dark Sky Place applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and in the order they are received. When the applicant completes a draft application, they will need to email a single PDF document to the Director of Conservation with the name of the site and certification category in the subject line. Staff will reach out to the applicant with further instructions and guidance to craft a complete and thorough application. Once IDA Staff deems the application complete, it will be provided with a batch of other completed nominations to the Dark Sky Places Committee (DSPC) for consideration.

Resources for applicants

How To Start A Local Dark Skies Group

From the Utah Community Development Office and Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative:
Dark Sky Planning Guidance and Best Practices (PDF)
Dark Sky Assessment Guide (PDF)
How to conduct a night sky quality survey

For current International Dark Sky Communities

Writing Dark Sky Community Annual Reports