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International Dark Sky Parks

An IDA International Dark Sky Park (IDSP) is a land possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural heritage, and/or public enjoyment. The land may be publicly owned, or privately owned provided that the landowner(s) consent to the right of permanent, ongoing public access to specific areas included in the IDA designation.

Certified IDA International Dark Sky Parks

Certify an International Dark Sky Park

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 Park Guidelines

2018 International Dark Sky Park Guidelines (PDF)
Park (IDSP) Applicant Self-Checklist (May 2023)
Portuguese description of the International Dark Sky Park Guidelines, courtesy of Silvia Maria Carneiro de Campos

Submission and Review Process

Dark Sky Park 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

Sample Lighting Management Plan (PDF)
Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Guidelines for Outdoor Lighting (PDF)
How to conduct a night sky quality survey

For current International Dark Sky Parks

Writing International Dark Sky Park annual reports