Parks Canada

Parks Canada

March 11, 2011 17:05 ET

Jasper National Park Becomes World's Largest Dark Sky Preserve

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 11, 2011) - The Honourable Peter Kent, Canada Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today celebrated Jasper National Park becoming the world's largest dark sky preserve, following the official designation by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

"Jasper National Park's designation as the world's largest dark sky preserve truly augments its status as one of Canada's most outstanding natural areas," said Minister Kent. "Not only does this make Jasper a wonderful place to visit, it exemplifies the international leadership by Parks Canada to promote the very best conservation practices."

At 11,228 km2, Jasper is the largest Dark Sky Preserve in the world, and the only preserve in Canada with a town wholly within the preserve. Most of Jasper National Park has excellent dark skies; the southern part of the park boasts truly dark skies. This is one of the only areas in southwestern Canada with exceptional darkness, which will provide outstanding opportunities for visitor experiences.

By successfully having designated Jasper National Park a Dark Sky Preserve, Parks Canada is committing to protect and preserve the night sky by applying strict lighting guidelines for responsible lighting. The guidelines are tailored to protect ecosystems, reduce energy consumption and maintain dark skies.

The proposal was prepared by Parks Canada in collaboration with the Municipality of Jasper and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC). Since 2003, Parks Canada has been working in partnership with the RASC to establish dark sky preserves in Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.

"I applaud Parks Canada's partnership with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, which is helping to preserve the integrity of the night sky in many national parks across Canada," added Minister Kent. "Through this collaboration, we are helping to offer this and future generations of Canadians and visitors incredible opportunities to discover and learn about the stars."

In this centennial year for Parks Canada, we are pleased to continue our international leadership in conservation practices and ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education and appreciation of all Canadians, today and in the future. Through a network of 42 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and four national marine conservation areas, Parks Canada invites Canadians, and people from around the world, to experience Canada's treasured natural and historic places.

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Veronica Petro
    Press Secretary
    Parks Canada
    Media Relations