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International Dark Sky Reserves

An IDA International Dark Sky Reserve is a public or private land possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural, heritage and/or public enjoyment. Reserves consist of a core area meeting minimum criteria for sky quality and natural darkness, and a peripheral area that supports dark sky preservation in the core. Reserves are formed through a partnership of multiple land managers who have recognized the value of the natural nighttime environment through regulations and long-term planning.

Certified IDA International Dark Sky Reserves

Designate an International Dark Sky Reserve

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

Download the current International Dark Sky Reserve guidelines

2018 International Dark Sky Reserve Guidelines (PDF)

2021 Submission Deadline Dates

22 February 2021 31 May 2021
30 August 2021 29 November 2021

At this time our final deadline in 2021 for accepting completed IDSP nominations is now full, and we will not add any additional nominations to the existing roster. We will announce our new cycle for accepting completed nominations at the beginning of 2022. If you have any questions, reach out to the Director of Conservation.

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 Reserves

Writing Dark Sky Reserve Annual Reports