The Nanaimo Astronomy Society is scouting Ladysmith as a possible location for an urban star park.

Ladysmith scouted by Nanaimo group for urban star park

The Nanaimo Astronomy Society (NAS) has its sights set on Ladysmith as the perfect location for an urban park for star gazers.

The Nanaimo Astronomy Society (NAS)  has its sights set on Ladysmith as the perfect location for an urban park for star gazers.

“From your point of view we believe it’s minimal effort just beyond agreeing in principle that you like the idea of having the park…,” said president Chris Boar, delegating at last week’s city council meeting.

Presently, there are only two urban star parks in Canada, the closest one being in Victoria at Cattle Point.

Star park designations are given by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and parks must be accesible 24/7.

The Nanaimo group had suggested an area on Ladysmith’s waterfront, but was unaware it is on Crown land.

Mayor Aaron Stone said the area identified is also part of the waterfront planning process currently underway.

“There are other areas that may be feasible on the south side of Transfer Beach Park,” Stone said.

“There is a significant desire,  at least at this point, to enhance that area and make it more usable by the community.”

A requirement of an urban  star park is either to have minimal lighting, or none at all.

Municipalities also typically have passed bylaws to protect the area from light pollution.

“It’s the natural resource of the dark night sky that we’re starting to lose,” Boar said.

“You have to drive a way out now to be able to get a good view of the night sky.”

The group has set out to create another star park on Vancouver Island, whether here in Ladysmith or elsewhere.

In terms of popularity, the Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics in Saanich is the largest astronomical engineering division in Canada.

There’s also five astronomy groups on the island that hold ‘star parties’ in the summer.

Boar said having an urban star park could be a “point of pride” for the community.

“It just goes back to the public being able to enjoy the night sky and to be able to offer public education,” he said.

The Nanaimo group would handle the MOU with the astronomical society and enter a partnership with the town.

Coun. Rob Hutchins said the area around the amphitheatre is another alternative and something could be done about the lighting.

“Those lights weren’t there 15 years ago so for an opportunity to even do this for part of a year, or some time,  I think it’s worthy of looking at,” he said.

Council voted to forward the debate on the possible creation of an urban star park to a future municipal services meeting.

 

 

Just Posted

Chemainus sea walk plans get a boost

North Cowichan to sign right-of-way agreements with VIHA

Local beekeeper wants residents to use pesticides more responsibly

Paula Masyk has kept bees for a little over two months, and has had two pesticide events since then

Sizzling season starts with Summer Fest celebrations in Chemainus

Rotary Club event features plenty of food, entertainment and a parade

Memorial Midget C Hockey Tournament supports Puska

Ladysmith man in need of a kidney transplant receiving abundant financial contributions

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

Most Read