Oakridge Community Association AGM slated for Sept. 27th
The Oakridge Community Association will hold its Annual General Meeting on Monday, Sept. 27th at 7 p.m.
It will be held in person in the upstairs boardroom of the Oakridge Community Centre on 9504 Oakfield Drive S.W.
All Oakridge residents are invited to attend, but if you wish to participate in the discussion, you must have a current community membership. Memberships can be purchased at www.oakridgecommunity.ca.
Ward 11 Candidate Forum scheduled for Sept. 20th
The Oakridge Community Association will host a Ward 11 Candidates’ Forum on the evening of Monday, September 20th, approximately one month before the next municipal election.
Details are still being worked out, but a number of candidates have already verbally committed their attendance.
The event will be held at the Oakridge Community Centre at 9504 Oakfield Drive S.W. Seating will be limited and pre-registration will be required. The event will start at 7 p.m.
Weaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society applying to become a “Nocturnal Preserve”
The Weaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society is applying to become a “Nocturnal Preserve.” This is a designation given by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) to areas where night-time light levels are low enough to support the nocturnal behaviours of local wildlife. This will protect the community’s enjoyment of the outdoors at night as well. The most recent nighttime light readings indicate that the park is on the threshold of the RASC’s night-time illumination level limit. We need the help of our “buffer zone” communities (Oakridge and Lakeview) to bring the “core zone” (the Weaselhead) below the illumination threshold and become Calgary’s first dark sky community.
Why is maintaining a dark sky so important? For the approximately 3.7 billion years life has existed on earth, composition of the atmosphere, global temperatures, and geological formations have changed dramatically, but earth’s daily cycle of light and darkness has remained constant. The introduction of artificial light at night (ALAN) is changing billions of years of adaptation, and we are just starting to understand how important these periods of darkness are to us and the species we share our illuminated spaces with.
In humans, even low levels of ALAN can disrupt our body’s ability to regulate the hormones and immune functions we need to stay healthy. This can lead to increased risk of developing cancer, autoimmune, and infectious diseases.1
As you might imagine, the impact of ALAN on wildlife can be harmful as well. Prey are not able to hide from predators as easily in illuminated spaces. Birds and insects that use the stars to navigate become disoriented and migration routes are altered. ALAN may also be a major contributor to the decline in moth populations, which are important nocturnal pollinators.2 The behaviours of our beloved robin are being disturbed, with birds singing earlier and louder resulting in changes to breeding behaviour and energy expenditure.3 Artificial light affects the behaviour of bats by delaying or preventing their evening emergence from roosts. Some bats will avoid hunting in illuminated areas (which attract insects) resulting in less food for bats, and more mosquitos for us!4 And it’s not just our urban wildlife that is affected by light pollution – city sky glow can be as bright as the full moon up to 100 km away.
How can you help? Go for a nighttime stroll and make some observations: How bright is the moon compared to your neighbourhood lighting? What wildlife do you see or hear? What feelings or memories does the night sky evoke for you? Consider the impact of your home’s lighting and what changes you could make. Some easy modifications include:
- Only have lights on when needed: consider installing a motion sensor or timer
- Direct light fixtures downwards instead of up or shield light to prevent it illuminating where not needed
- Change outdoor lights to bulbs that emit a warmer spectrum of light instead of blue/white light
Look for more DIY solutions to light abatement on our website and Facebook page. We hope to see you at our upcoming “night sky” events where you can learn about the wildlife that’s up and about while we’re asleep. We hope will join us to create Calgary’s first dark sky community and the first urban nocturnal preserve in Canada.
- Roberts, Joan E. “Light and Dark and Human Health.” Environmental Impact of Light Pollution and Its Abatement, 2012, www.rasc.ca/lpa-special-issue.
- Macgregor, Calum J. “Pollination by Nocturnal Lepidoptera, and the Effects of Light Pollution: a Review.” Ecological Entomology, 2014.
- Miller, Mark W. “Apparent Effects of Light Pollution on Singing Behavior of American RobinsThe .” The Condor, 2006.
- “Threats to Bats – Lighting.” Bat Conservation Trust, www.bats.org.uk/about-bats/threats-to-bats/lighting.
Oakridge News provided by the Oakridge Monitor
The Oakridge Monitor is a blog updated regularly to report on news and events within the community of Oakridge. The Monitor can be found at www.oakridgemonitor.com or you can access it through the RSS feed below.