JASPER — If you like your night sky unencumbered by neon and street lights, then Jasper National Park may be the place for you.
The expansive mountain park on the boundary between Alberta and British Columbia has been designated a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
The society has designated such preserves across Canada, from the McDonald Park in B.C.’s Fraser Valley to Point Pelee National Park in Ontario and Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick.
Parks Canada says it and the society recognize that natural darkness is an ecological resource in need of protection.
Both organizations say they’re committed to lighting practices that preserve the beauty and wonder of the dark sky and night environment for all Canadians to enjoy.
The society will help the park develop night-time programs to take advantage of the dark night sky and its contributions to Canadian culture.
Dark sky preserves are regions with exceptionally dark skies accessible to the general public.
The lighting protocol for the preserves restricts the illumination level and its extent, duration and colour to minimize its impact on the appearance of the night sky and the behaviour of wildlife.