Cattle Point, British Columbia - Urban Star Park

Written by Joe Carr, edited by Nick Hammar

https://rasc.ca/sites/default/files/cattle-point-shoreline-panoramic_50953508683_o.jpg

Cattle Point was designated as a RASC Urban Star Park in 2013, in partnership with the Municipality of Oak Bay. Cattle Point is a part of Uplands Park and runs along the easterly coastline of Oak Bay, near Victoria. By day, this rocky point offers spectacular water views in a unique natural area, where remnants of the original Garry Oak meadow ecosystem flourish and evolve. Cattle Point is easily accessed from Beach Drive by car, bike, or on foot, and has ample parking, picnic tables and benches, two boat ramps, a portable toilet, as well as both paved and rough walkways. It is popular with fishers, bird-watchers, photographers, artists, and those who simply seek respite from urban living.

https://rasc.ca/sites/default/files/morning-colours-reflected-off-the-salish-sea_50954319312_o.jpgIn the evening hours, Cattle Point offers its dark, starry skies to both casual visitors and dedicated astronomers. Uplands Park is a 30-hectare area which is undeveloped, natural, and protected by Oak Bay. The Uplands (both park and residential area) provides the all-important buffer between the dark Cattle Point shoreline and the city lights from Victoria's downtown, ensuring night-sky observers often experience skies overhead with a Sky-Quality Metre reading of 20 magnitudes per square arcsecond.

Although there is 24-hour vehicle access to Cattle Point, parking after midnight is not allowed and is enforced with regular patrols from Oak Bay police. Marine air from the ocean can adversely affect night sky observing, especially during colder months of the year. The boat ramps have well-shielded lights, but they are normally off and even when on do not adversely affect night-sky viewing.

Although RASC's Victoria Centre rarely offers structured public observing events at Cattle Point, members and the public make good use of the area on a regular basis for observing and photographing the night sky. Check out the bottom of this page on the Victoria Centre's website for Sky-Quality Maps of Victoria and the surrounding area, as well as more information on light pollution. (Photo Credits: Joe Carr)

 

 

Above: RASC's Video Profile from 2021 International Dark-Sky Week
Author: 
Anonymous
Last modified: 
Wednesday, August 25, 2021 - 3:36pm