Dark Sky Initiative

Working towards keeping the night skies dark!

Even before the light bulb, societies have been artificially illuminating the night time. Our lighting of the night sky has begun to negatively affect the nocturnal environment in significant ways.

On April 16th 2009, Foothills County Council provided three readings to the Dark Sky Bylaw (PDF). This has been a significant step in achieving the vision and goals of the municipality's Dark Sky Initiative. In addition to the Bylaw, educational resources such as this webpage continue to be provided by the municipality in order that our residents and businesses may work towards a pollution free night sky.

For more information, check out our FAQ below.

Dark Sky Country

Our 2017 Dark Sky Country signage project is under way. Look for these new signs in Division 4!  With our partners Rothney Astrophysical Observatory and Cross Conservation Area, our Foothills County Dark Sky Committee would like to create awareness about Dark Skies in a friendly manner and lead people to more information. 

Learn about the value of preserving the operations of these world-class organizations and participate in reducing light pollution, which also helps with the over-all health of our own connected neighboring landscapes and allow us to continue to view the stars from our own back yards, which is part of the enjoyment of country living! Take action together to preserve our night skies through this Dark Sky Country initiative. 

 July 2015: Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area Became Canada’s First Nocturnal Preserve (PDF)

2017 Research Article: Quantifying and Monitoring Darkness over the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory, the Journal of The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (PDF)

Two recently released videos

Join The Dark Night: Nocturnal Preserve: Enjoy this educational video produced by the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area, to learn more about the importance of "Dark Skies".

Underneath the Dark Skies: A short documentary about our Rothney Astrophysical Observatory produced by Rinaldi Guilinao and crew of SAIT.

World map dotted with lights from cities
Image Credit: Data courtesy Marc Imhoff of NASA GSFC and Christopher Elvidge of NOAA NGDC. Image by Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon, NASA GSFC.

Frequently Asked Questions