IDA view community support for the Dark Sky designation as a vital part of the accreditation process, and to that end set out clear expectations in their guidelines.
They firstly seek broad support for dark skies from a wide range of community organizations such as chambers of commerce, local electrical utilities, IDA chapters, lighting retailers, homeowners associations and others.
More specifically, they need us to demonstrate Community commitment to dark skies and education as shown by at least one of the following:
- Planning and execution of at least two (2) community dark sky awareness events per year. This may be organized through a local astronomy club, municipality, school, etc.
- Inclusion of dark sky awareness documents (IDA brochures or Community- created brochures) with other Community informational documents for residents and visitors
- Inclusion of dark sky education in Community schools and curriculum.
We have already held two community dark sky awareness events (see here for details) and are planning a third this Easter.
We have created, published and distributed an information brochure explaining about dark skies, light pollution and our project. This was initially distributed to all the households and businesses in the proposed Dark Sky Area, and plans are in place for further distribution to businesses and public offices in adjoining communities.
We have set up a page with information and pointers to educational resources here. This includes local and international websites, software apps and books.
In the near future, we will be contacting schools in the surrounding area (there is only one Kindergarten school in the proposed Dark Sky Area) to discuss opportunities for Dark Sky education in their communities.
We have set up a dedicated Facebook Group for supporters of the proposed Dark Sky Community, with over 100 registrants already through word of mouth alone. That group and this website will form the basis of our communication with and engagement of the community.