2017 Funding Priority | Amount requested $18,000 | FUNDED
This project will support and enhance the park’s current night sky summer program. For several years now, a volunteer master astronomer has conducted popular telescope sessions as well as full-moon walks at Hurricane Ridge. Although these are great interpretive opportunities in an ideal location, these programs present some logistical and operational challenges due to their popularity. Funding for this program would provide a dedicated summer seasonal park ranger (May-September) to work on the telescope session and full-moon walk evenings, as well as focus their other interpretive programs on dark sky themes at Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent.
Olympic National Park is an ideal location for dark sky programs, and the volunteer astronomy programs already demonstrate how popular and effective this interpretive opportunity can be. Program support would enhance this as well as provide a safer and more effective operation, reaching more people. Due to budget constraints, the park would not be able to support this program without project funding.
Families are a key visitor demographic for night sky programs, which draw large crowds and rave reviews. These programs provide a sense of awe and resource appreciation which ties directly to park stewardship values.