What is an International Dark Sky Place?

The International Dark Sky Places Program promotes preservation and protection of night skies across the globe. Three types of areas compose the program: communities, parks, and reserves.The links below will lead you to more information about each of these. Preserving dark skies starts locally with a dedicated group of citizens, staff, or volunteers. IDA International Dark Sky Parks and Reserves are home to some of the darkest and most pristine skies in the world. IDA International Dark Sky Communities are filled with concerned citizens working to make their city a little darker. While their skies may not be perfect, they provide examples to the world of cities with responsible outdoor lighting. 

International Dark Sky Places serve as reminders that the wonders of the nighttime night environment are just as much a part of our lifestyle and history as the natural beauties expereinced during daylight. 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. This is why the International Dark Sky Places Program aims to protect locations of exceptional nighttime visages for future generations. IDSPlaces celebrate this rich heritage with innovative outreach programs meant to inspire others to cherish the sky and return the night sky to children and people of the world.

International Dark Sky Places Programs:

blue circleCommunities

red squareParks

green diamondReserves

 To start the application process please fill out this form.

 Pursuing an International Dark Sky Place Designation

The International Dark-Sky Association continues to accept applications from locations wishing to join in the ranks of International Dark Sky Places Program.

Designation almost always starts with a small group of individuals who organize to seek formal protection of their nightscape. Designations are open to communities and publicly and privately managed land areas. Please read the IDSPlaces FAQ to learn more.


The first step of applying is to fill out this form.



26 January 2015
23 March 2015
25 May 2015
27 July 2015
28 September 2015
23 November 2015
Download the current guidelines:
Applications received on or before the 23 March 2015 submission deadline are eligible to apply under the 2013 program guidelines. Download them here:
Download Chinese translations of the guidelines / 點擊此處下載指南
黑暗的天空社區 (Dark Sky Community)
           夜空公園 (Dark Sky Park)     
           黑暗的天空儲備 (Dark Sky Reserve)
提出的問題往往 (Frequently Asked Questions)
Translation courtesy of IDA Beijing / Starry Sky Project of China