Keji park go­ing dark

The Queens County Advance - - NEWS - By Amy Wool­vett

Ke­jimku­jik Park is hop­ing the blan­ket of stars that stretch out over the night sky will be brighter as they work to­wards be­com­ing a dark sky pre­serve.

Ac­cord­ing to Jonathan Shep­pard, Co­or­di­na­tor of Park In­ter­pre­ta­tion, it is the park’s goal to im­prove the qual­ity of the night sky and how many stars can be seen.

“It re­ally res­onates with vis­i­tors and takes their breath away,” he said.

The park is part­ner­ing with the Royal Astro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety to abate the light pol­lu­tion at the park.

The dark sky pre­serve is cen­tred on con­trol­ling light pol­lu­tion as well as ac­tive ed­u­ca­tion of the night sky and noc­tur­nal ecol­ogy.

In an­tic­i­pa­tion of their goal of be­com­ing a dark sky pre­serve, Ke­jimku­jik ran a pi­lot pro­gram dur­ing the sum­mer where night watch pro­grams were added and as­tronomers lead night hikes for in­ter­ested vis­i­tors and park staff.

A pro­posal was put forth and the park hopes to hear back by early next year for con­fir­ma­tion.

An­other pos­i­tive for the park be­com­ing a pre­serve is that rather than in­creas­ing costs the des­ig­na­tion would in­stead re­duce costs of park op­er­a­tions over time.

On ex­ist­ing lighting shroud­ing the light to re­flect down­wards will be one of the tech­niques used to pre­serve the night sky and the park plans to work the changes into a three-year sched­ule. “ We will of­fer the same amount of safety and se­cu­rity for vis­i­tors,” said Shep­pard.

The Astro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety through part­ner­ing will pro­vide skilled as­tronomers to train park staff on the night sky as a part of the ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram.

“It is ex­cit­ing for us,” said Shep­pard. “It will give peo­ple lots of op­por­tu­nity to see the night sky as it should be seen.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.