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Terra Nova National Park becomes first Dark Sky Preserve in N.L.

Terra Nova National Park has become the first Dark Sky preserve in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Terra Nova National Park has become the first Dark Sky preserve in Newfoundland and Labrador. - Submitted

TERRA NOVA NATIONAL PARK, NL – Terra Nova National Park has become Canada’s 20th Dark Sky Preserve and the first in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The federal government and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada announced the designation on Monday, March 12.

A Dark Sky Preserve is an area in which no artificial lighting is visible and active measures are in place to educate and promote the reduction of light pollution to the public.

Terra Nova National Park, which falls under the jurisdiction of Parks Canada, has made a number of commitments as part of the designation.

Energy consumption will be reduced by adjusting, retrofitting or eliminating light fixtures; the nocturnal ecology will be improved by returning the dark night to birds, bats, insects, and amphibians; and new educational and interpretive programs on astronomy and other dark sky themes will be promoted and delivered.

“Our ongoing work with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada will help to preserve the integrity of the night sky and nocturnal habitats in the national park,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, who is also the minister responsible for Parks Canada.

“Through this designation, Parks Canada will reduce energy consumption, protect nocturnal habitats and offer new and engaging night sky programs which will provide opportunities for visitors to experience the dark sky, the milky way, meteor showers, and far away stars and planets. I encourage everyone to become more aware of the impacts of artificial light on the environment around us.”

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