Starry Skies: A Stargazing ParkProject led by Athens Conservancy
About the project.
Reach for the stars with Athens Conservancy! The nonprofit land trust seeks funds to support its “Starry Skies” project to establish a stargazing park within the Deep Hollow-Dark Skies Preserve near Athens, Ohio.
The stargazing park will include a parking area and viewing sites high on a rural ridge-top with very little light pollution. This will make a marvelous spot for community members to look skyward, search for constellations, watch a meteor shower, or just ponder the wonders of the vast universe. It’s well known that spending time in nature is good for us – physically and mentally – and researchers say exposure to the night sky can lower stress, increase positive moods, and lead to experiences of awe.
George Eberts, Ohio University astronomy professor, says, “A lot of people ask me where’s a good place to stargaze around here? This project will create a place close by, where you can drive up, get out and set up your lawn chairs or telescope, and have a good place to view the dark, night sky.”
Deep Hollow-Dark Skies Preserve comprises 110.6 acres in Athens County’s Carthage Township, about 13 miles east-southeast of Athens. The preserve reaches from a clear stream at the bottom of a gorge, to a high ridge-top that provides wonderful night-time celestial viewing.
Funding will support flat, grassy viewing areas high on the ridge top, a gravel parking area, signage, and informational materials about the preserve, joys of stargazing, directions, and more.
FAO staff comments.
One of Appalachian Ohio’s greatest assets are our outdoor spaces. The Deep Hollow-Dark Skies Preserve will build upon the region’s natural and outdoor assets, allowing residents and visitors alike to take advantage of our unique stargazing opportunities, connecting all of us with the vastness of the universe.