The Grand Canyon Is Now An Official International Dark Sky Park

Credit: Harun Mehmedinovic/SKYGLOW Project
The National Park Service and the International Dark Sky Association have announced that Grand Canyon National Park is an official International Dark Sky Park.

The International Dark Sky Places program, started by the International Dark Sky Association in 2001, was founded to encourage communities, parks, and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through the use of responsible lighting policies and public education.

Grand Canyon National Park has now met the guidelines of the program and on June 22 will be holding a ceremony to celebrate this achievement.

"Certification efforts began in 2016 when Grand Canyon National Park was given Provisional International Dark Sky status after an initial inventory and assessment of over 5,000 exterior light fixtures. The provisional status gave the park three years to retrofit 67% of the light fixtures to be dark-sky compliant in order to achieve full certification. At the time, 35% of the lights were already dark-sky compliant. In late May of 2019, the park completed the retrofit process of an additional 34% of the light fixtures, bringing the total dark-sky compliant lights in the park up to 69%. The process was then reviewed and accepted by the International Dark Sky Association, officially certifying Grand Canyon National Park as the newest International Dark Sky Park. In the coming years, the park plans on making 90% of the lights dark-sky compliant. The amount of lights inventoried and retrofitted in this process undoubtedly makes Grand Canyon National Park one of the largest, most complex, International Dark Sky Parks in the world."

For more information about the International Dark Sky Places program, visit the International Dark Sky Association website. More information about Grand Canyon National Park can be found at the website for the park through National Park Service.


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