A StarPark is a window to the firmament that each community voluntarily designates to enjoy the starry night sky. Its function is to claim and secure the right to starlight, especially for future generations.
Just as communities designate areas for recreation, sport, the enjoyment of nature or silence, these same sites and others can be places where the starry sky is enjoyed. A StarPark is an oasis that each community designates for stargazing/observing, a site where to learn under the stars, with a view to progressively enlarge its area of influence.
A StarPark can be....
- a permanent or temporary designation.
- a square, a park, a sports field, a community area, a school, a commercial space or natural area close to the community where the beauty of the starry sky is protected against increasing sky glow.
- a place where thoughtful lighting practices permit the best public viewing of the night sky within the area. It does not have to be a site whose sky is exceptional in terms of astronomical quality. It is enough to increase the number of visible stars by reducing the harmful effects of light pollution in the immediate area.
- a place where stars and other celestial phenomena are observed with telescopes, binoculars, or naked eye.
- a place where cultural or artistic activities take place under the stars, where star-related musical heritage or traditional folklore are celebrated and preserved for future generations.
- tiny (even a rooftop) or huge plots.
- a nature area, and especially in every national park and other important protected areas.
- either a tangible or intangible cultural heritage site of each community where the vision of the stars or the ancestral knowledge of astronomy is a reference; a place where an alliance between the past and the future is forged.
- a scientific center, an observatory, a museum or a technological center promoting practical educational activities on astronomy, the knowledge of the Universe or the fight against light pollution.
- a cruise ship, sail/dive/ferry boat or similar where the public has access to night sky tours aboard ship to view an eclipse, meteor shower, or simply get familiar with the constellations, listen to stories of mythology, learn about navigation by starlight, basics of light pollution, and the like.
- a place for families to come and explore the night sky together.
- a gathering area under the stars for the enjoyment of this common heritage of the community.
The ultimate goal is to have every community in the world designate at least one StarPark. It is therefore important that every new community includes the StarPark concept in its initial plans, both to designate a specific area and to include the night sky dimension in planned public spaces and parks.