Terra Nova National Park Officially Designated as a Dark Sky Preserve

News release

First location in Newfoundland and Labrador to receive designation from Royal Astronomical Society

March 12, 2018                    Terra Nova National Park, NL           Parks Canada Agency

The Government of Canada is pleased to announce that, in cooperation with the Royal Astronomical Society, Terra Nova National Park has been designated as the newest Dark Sky Preserve in Canada. This is the first Dark Sky Preserve in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Dark Sky Preserves are designated by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and are established to reduce artificial light glare, increase the visibility of the night sky, and reduce energy consumption. Dark Sky Preserves promote the protection of nocturnal habitat for present and future generations and they encourage public enjoyment and awareness of the cultural heritage of the night sky. This designation represents a unique opportunity for Terra Nova National Park to promote ecological protection and responsible lighting, and to take a leadership role in reducing light pollution.

Terra Nova National Park is committed to reducing energy consumption by adjusting, retrofitting, or eliminating light fixtures; improving nocturnal ecology by returning the dark night to birds, bats, insects, and amphibians; and promoting and delivering new educational and interpretive programs on astronomy and other dark sky themes.

While this is the first Dark Sky Preserve in Newfoundland and Labrador, it is the 11th Parks Canada place to receive designation, and the 20th Dark Sky Preserve in Canada. Other Dark Sky Preserves in Parks Canada’s system of national parks and national historic sites include Elk Island National Park in Alberta; Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan; Bruce Peninsula National Park in Ontario; Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick; and Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site in Nova Scotia.


“Parks Canada manages one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural and cultural heritage areas in the world.  I congratulate the Royal Astronomical Society on the creation of Canada’s 20th Dark Sky Preserve at Terra Nova National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador. 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. 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.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

Quick facts

  • Founded in 1868, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is Canada’s leading astronomy organization bringing together over 4000 enthusiastic amateurs, educators, and professionals.

  • Terra Nova National Park is the first location in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador to be designated as a Dark Sky Preserve.

  • 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 protects the area where the North Atlantic Ocean touches the Island boreal forest of Eastern Newfoundland. The landscape of the park varies from the rugged cliffs and sheltered inlets of the coastal region to the rolling forested hills, bogs, and ponds of the inland. Cultural history abounds in the remnants of sawmills and ancestral cultures.

Associated links


Ray Kenny
External Relations Manager
Newfoundland East Field Unit
Parks Canada

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

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