Dark Sky Preserve

About the Designation
On March 26, 2011, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) officially designated Jasper National Park as a Dark Sky Preserve (DSP).
2 residents viewing the night sky
The proposal was prepared by Parks Canada in collaboration with the RASC. Partners include the Municipality of Jasper, Jasper Tourism, and Jasper Chamber of Commerce.

The Municipality of Jasper, which lies totally within the DSP, worked in close partnership with Parks Canada to complete the application.

About the DSP Program
Dark Sky Preserves are designated by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and are established to promote the protection of nocturnal habitat and the visibility of the night skies.

Dark Sky Preserves support responsible lighting and encourage public awareness and education programs. Jasper National Park, the world’s largest at 11,000 km2, will become the 8th in a family of Dark Sky Preserves within the Parks Canada Agency and the 11th DSP in Canada.

National Park & Historic Site Members

The other national park and national historic site members include:
  • Elk Island National Park
  • Fort Walsh National Historic Site
  • Grasslands National Park
  • Bruce Peninsula National Park
  • Point Pelee National Park
  • Kouchibouguac National Park
  • Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site
Canada has more DSPs than all other countries combined with 8 in national parks and historic sites.

In becoming a Dark Sky Preserve, Jasper National Park has committed to protecting and preserving the night sky, adopting responsible lighting at Park facilities, developing public education programs, and working with partners.

Jasper National Park is an ideal location to become a DSP as 97% of the park is a designated wilderness area, free of light pollution, with roads and trails providing easy access to excellent year-round star gazing sites. Additionally, this is one of the only areas in southwestern Canada with exceptional darkness and still accessible by year-round road offering multiple accommodation facilities. Two outstanding road accessible sites within the park are Pyramid Island and Athabasca Glacier.

Jasper, together with our partners, will work towards developing innovative interpretive dark-sky related programs to engage visitors. New dark sky education programs and star gazing opportunities fit well within the Agency’s desire to create innovative and engaging visitor products. Other examples of recent innovations in visitor product include the installation of the cottage tents In Whistlers campground and the completion of the Easy Trails network. This is another example of the international leadership role Parks Canada plays in protecting and preserving the natural environment and providing exemplary visitor experiences.