How to form a DarkSky chapter
DarkSky chapters are made up of members organized within defined geographic boundaries.
Volunteers are the backbone of the dark sky movement, and what better way to enact light pollution solutions and raise awareness about the importance of dark skies than with a group of like-minded peers?
DarkSky chapters are made up of members organized within defined geographic boundaries. Chapters do amazing work to protect the night, from enacting national light pollution laws, to tabling at events and spreading the word. If you’d like to learn more about starting a DarkSky chapter, please read on.
Steps to form a DarkSky chapter
- Become a member of DarkSky.
- Be an active participant in the DarkSky Advocates Network for at least 3 months.
- Identify an initial leadership team consisting of at least five DarkSky members.
- Identify geography for the proposed chapter. Note: DarkSky will not certify a new chapter in an existing chapter’s territory unless closely coordinated with both parties.
- Thoroughly read and review the DarkSky Chapter Handbook.
- Apply using the online form that covers the following:
- Proposed geography and chapter name
- Initial leadership team
- Start-up plan, including reason to form a chapter and initial goals, and plans for longevity
- Proposed structure — i.e., do you propose incorporating, or is this a DarkSky volunteer group effort?
- DarkSky International will review the proposal and determine eligibility. Applications will be reviewed at the beginning of each calendar month.
- Once approved, DarkSky chapter leaders must execute the DarkSky Chapter Agreement for the group to obtain official status.
Ongoing requirements of DarkSky chapters
To maintain their official chapter status, all DarkSky chapters are expected to comply with the following requirements:
By January 31 each year, submit a detailed summary of the prior year’s activities and your upcoming goals for the year via a form that will be emailed to the DarkSky Chapter point of contact.
Attend monthly learning webinars
Attend meetings as often as possible for your schedule, and when not possible, review the recordings.
Engage with DarkSky programs
Be aware of available resources, redistribute information to local members, and engage with program activities.
Engage local supporters
Engage local DarkSky members, reach out to other local organizations, and communicate as needed to disseminate timely news or calls-to-action.
Engage fellow Advocates
Monitor the DarkSky online community platform (currently Slack), and engage when appropriate. Share your upcoming activities on the community platform. DarkSky advocates are expected to share their experiences and best practices with the network and act as guides and mentors for new advocates.