ALBERTA

Bon Accord, Alberta Town, Named First 'Dark Sky' Community In Canada

08/12/2015 09:22 EDT | Updated 08/12/2015 09:59 EDT

If you're looking for a place to watch the Perseid meteor shower this week, consider a trip to Bon Accord, Alta.

The town located about 40 kilometres north of Edmonton has been named Canada's first "International Dark Sky Community" by the Tucson, Ariz.-based International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).

"Residents throughout Bon Accord value their ability to view the night sky and acknowledge its importance to our community," said Patrick Earl, the town's economic development manager, in a Wednesday news release.

The dark sky title recognizes the town's Light Efficient Community Standards Bylaw, which limits the amount of artificial light allowed on public and private property, the release said.

The bylaw also calls for "no ambient lighting" zones, where people can enjoy the natural environment without being bothered by any unnatural glow.

So it's unlikely you'll find a better town in which to see the meteor shower than Bon Accord — but while the tiny town is Canada's only official dark sky community, it's not the only place in the Great White North that has been recognized for its efforts to reduce light pollution.

A number of Canadian parks are considered "Dark-Sky Preserves," without any artificial lighting, and where "sky glow from beyond the borders of the preserve will be of comparable intensity, or less, to that of natural sky glow," according to the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

The Perseid meteor shower is expected to begin on Wednesday night and peak around 2 a.m. MT on Thursday morning.

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