DARKY SKY PRESERVES (DSP)
Even though star gazing is a simple and pleasurable pastime, we here at The Milky Way Society are aware that the night sky is something we can’t take for granted. As the population of the planet grows and grows more prosperous, there has been a steady increase in the amount of light pollution caused by the addition of artificial lighting in our towns and cities sometimes referred to as Skyglow.*2
No-one expects everyone to turn out the lights and go back in time, but we think that through education, everyone can become aware of how their individual actions can mitigate the glare of excessive and unnecessary lighting outside at night.
For us, our long term plan for Southern Ontario is to build consensus with local communities with the ultimate goal of creating another Dark Sky Preserve along the Eastern Shores of Georgian Bay. There are currently 19 Dark Sky Preserves in Canada, including 6 in Ontario alone.
The ones’ closet to the District of Parry Sound are Fathom Five National Marine Park at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula and The Torrance Barrens in Muskoka.
If we can create awareness in our communities about the value of preserving darkness, the added benefit is reduced energy costs, and, indirectly a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
That may sound like a bit of a stretch at first but consider this; every porch light added is another light that will likely be around for a very long time. So if all of us take a moment to consider the type of lights we buy, their placement on our property and how long we choose to leave them on or off, that decision, coupled with everyone else’s choice can contribute to or detract from the existing natural state.
Ideally we will also be engaging local government to make choices for lighting in public spaces that not only save energy but reduce glare .