Friends of Dark Skies

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Foundation Year
2013
Country
Ireland
Region
Co. Mayo
Location

Ballycroy National Park Visitor Centre,
National Parks & Wildlife Service,
Ballycroy Village,
Co. Mayo

Number of members
25
Full-time
Part-time
Volunteers
10
Accept interns
NO
Area of intervention
Environmental Awareness
Environmental Education
Main funding mechanisms
European projects/grants
Governmental (national or local) grants or subsidies
Private donations
Membership fees
Sponsorships
Level of impact
Local
Regional
National
International

 

In May 2016, a Gold Tier standard of International Dark Sky Park was awarded to Ballycroy National Park and Wild Nephin, known jointly as Mayo Dark Sky Park. The dark sky certification process is modeled on conservation programmes, such as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves.

A Gold Tier award is the highest possible accolade, meaning that Mayo is now internationally recognised as one of the best places in the world to view the wonders of the night.

Mayo Dark Sky Park is a great example of a collaborative project between our communities, National Parks & Wildlife Service, Coillte, GMIT Mayo Campus, South West Mayo Development and Mayo County Council. We are very proud of the strong partnership formed between local people and state agencies who worked together on this project. The process of preparing a dark-sky application took over two years to complete from initial research undertaken in 2013.

Formal responsibility for Mayo Dark Sky Park is shared between the management of National Parks & Wildlife Service and Coillte. Both parties have committed to a responsible lighting plan for the Dark Sky Park.

Formal responsibility for Mayo Dark Sky Park is shared between the management of National Parks & Wildlife Service and Coillte. Both parties have committed to a responsible lighting plan for the Dark Sky Park.

Projects such as Citizen Scientist Light Pollution Monitoring and The Dark Sky Ambassador Programme are organised through the Friends of Mayo Dark Skies. The Dark Sky Ambassador Programme provides training for local trade and customer service staff who may interact with visitors to the Mayo Dark Sky Park. Training covers a basic introduction to Stargazing and the work of the International Dark Sky Association as well as resources and activities that may enhance a visitor’s experience to the Dark Sky Park. The Dark Sky Ambassador Programme is a certified course and is designed to help local people learn about the objectives and goals of a Dark Sky Park and how they can contribute to raising awareness of light pollution.

  • Dark Skies Day
  • Bog Detective Challenge
  • Nature at night

Formal responsibility for Mayo Dark Sky Park is shared between the management of National Parks & Wildlife Service and Coillte. Both parties have committed to a responsible lighting plan for the Dark Sky Park.


Beneficiaries
Local community
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