There could be some changes to the lights outside Kal Tire Place, to make them less likely to contribute to light pollution.
John Kerr from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada has asked the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee to add shielding to the 12 parking lot lights, to prevent sky glow.
“We are concerned about light pollution and everyone’s view of the night sky. Dark skies are beautiful, comforting, healthy, economical, and ecologically important,” Kerr told the committee.
Kerr says too much lighting can also be confusing for birds and other animals.
Kerr says one-third of the world’s population can no longer see the stars due to light pollution.
“This includes 80% of North Americans. 80% of the world’s population lives in skies polluted by artificial light,” Kerr told GVAC.
Kerr is asking GVAC to add the shields to the lights when they are taken down for construction of the second arena this spring.
He is also recommending the current high pressure sodium lights be replaced with more environmentally friendly LED lights, once their life cycle ends in 5 to 10 years, which he estimates would cost $20,000.
Kerr is a member of the society’s Okanagan Light Abatement Committee which encourages the reduction of light pollution and energy consumption.
The group is also recommending updates on all the lighting bylaws in RDNO communities, and an improved spirit of cooperation with City of Vernon staff and their committee.
“We should all strive to make better lighting choices for our homes and our towns. That way cities can save money, the nation can save energy, and the lives of countless animals will be protected, and people can live healthier and happier lives,” concluded Kerr in his presentation.
The RASC has 4,600 members in 29 centres in Canada.
GVAC director Mike Macnabb says he supports the society’s concept of dark skies.
“What they didn’t stress is that it’s an economic driver. Some communities have said ‘We’re dark skies’ and they get a lot of people coming in. We bathe ourselves in light like we’re afraid of the dark or something,” Macnabb tells Kiss FM.