IDA takes great pride in its efforts to protect our natural nightscapes. Yet night sky protection starts locally, with a dedicated group of citizens. Through our International Dark Sky Places program,IDA and its partners certify locations with exceptional nightscapes as International Dark Sky Communities (IDSC), International Dark Sky Parks (IDSP), and International Dark Sky Reserves (IDSR).

These locations serve as reminders that with quality outdoor lighting, the extraordinary wonders of the nighttime sky and night environment are just as much a part of our lifestyle and history as are the daylight hours. In fact, without the inspiration from night sky objects, much of the world's history, art, culture, music, and literature would not have been created. IDSPlaces celebrate this rich heritage with innovative outreach programs meant to inspire others to cherish the sky.

 Individual International Programs:

How to become an International Dark Sky Place

In additi on to a high quality night sky, an IDSPlace requires community support. The designation almost always starts with a small group of individuals who organize to seek formal protection their nightscape. Designations are open to communities and publicly and privately managed land areas. Please read the IDSPlaces FAQ to learn more. 

Download the IDSPlaces FAQ

Télécharger le IDSPlaces FAQ

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What's New?

IDA Executive Director Bob Parks presents award to Park Superintendent Bill Wellman.

Big Bend National Park Designated International Dark Sky Park

On 2 February 2012 Big Bend National Park was designated as an International Dark Sky Park, one of now just ten in the world. It came in at the ʻGold Tierʼ level meaning that the skies above the park are free from all but the most minor impacts of light pollution.

Read IDA Press Release >>

Homer Glen, Illinois Becomes World's Fourth International Dark Sky Community

The Village of Homer Glen, Illinois became the world's fouth International Dark Sky Community on 21 November. Located 30 miles southwest of Chicago, Homer Glen's proximity to a major city presented large challenges but also valuable opportunities to raise awareness on the negative effects of wasteful outdoor lighting. 

Homer Glen's statewide leadership and education campaign for smart lighting policy has earned the recognition of this prestigious award. 

Read IDA Press Release >>

Video: Progress toward an IDSPlace


Development Officer Bob Keesecker takes us on a virtual tour of  Geauga Park District's Observatory Park in Montville Township, Ohio, where telescope construction is well  underway.

NEW! How to carry out a dark sky survey

What is a dark sky survey? How does it help conserve dark sky places?
Steve Owens, a member of the team behing the smashing success of IDSPlace Galloway Forest Park, shares his extensive knowledge on the first steps to creating a successful IDSPlace in the Dark Sky Diary (18 December 2010).

Introductory Programs:


Other Awards:

The sign at the entrance indicating Mont-Megantic an IDSR


Banners in Harmony, FL showing off the Dark Sky Friendly Development of Distinction Logo