Dark Skies in the MD of Foothills

By Suzanne Oel, MD of Foothills Councillor, Div 4

In July 2015, the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area (ASSCA) was designated a “Dark Sky Preserve”, the first in Canada, by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada!  This is yet another reason to celebrate and promote Dark Skies in the M.D. of Foothills – to consider the natural processes and creatures that benefit, to continue enjoyment of viewing the stars at night, and to support the ASSCA and Rothney Astrophysical Observatory (RAO) to observe and do their science right in our own area of Division 4, off Highway 22.

We have successfully teamed up with RAO and the University of Calgary to request a Dark Sky policy in the “Providence” Area Structure Plan, a new neighbourhood being planned by Calgary on our boarders, and also have managed to request the planners of the SW Calgary Ring Road to look at more Dark Sky friendly lighting for this part of the project.

So, please add yourself to this list of action by using Dark Sky fixtures when you change out the old ones and please consider changing your current yard lights to motion sensing and light cut-off, so they don’t appear in the RAO telescope images or light up the neighbourhood beyond your need to see the area near your home/yard.

Please share the good news about our Dark Skies in the M.D. with your friends and neighbours and encourage them to change a fixture or change a habit!

For more info:

(1)    M.D. of Foothills Dark Sky Bylaw http://www.mdfoothills.com/residents/planning/environment/dark_sky_initiative.html

(2)    RAO http://www.ucalgary.ca/rao/

(3)    ASCCA http://www.crossconservation.org/

(4)    Royal Astronomical Society of Canada http://www.rasc.ca/lpa

(5)    IDA  http://darksky.org/light-pollution/   Fixtures –  http://darksky.org/fsa/