Spring stargazing party at Dry Creek Preserve

Join local astronomers for a “star-studded” tour of the great night sky

When: Saturday, May 15, 2010, 9:00 p.m. — 11:00 p.m.

What: The second of three stargazing parties at Sequoia Riverlands Trust’s Dry Creek Preserve.

Why: Before the summer heat scares us all inside, let’s take time now to enjoy the outdoors as much as we can.  Join us this Saturday nigh to learn about the skyscape — from stars, planets and constellations to the Milky Way, nebulas and super novas. Several large telescopes will be on hand, and avid astronomer Greg Eckes and others from the Tulare Astronomical Association will answer your questions about the universe and distant galaxies.

Where: Dry Creek Preserve, located near Lemon Cove. From Visalia, travel east on Highway 198 to Highway 216 (about 17 miles). Follow Highway 216 west toward Woodlake one-half mile and turn right (north) on Dry Creek Road. The preserve is located two miles down on your right.

Bring: Water, layered clothes, insect repellant, blankets or lawn chairs and a friend.  If you have a telescope, binoculars or star chart, bring those as well. Please, no dogs.

Special notes:

1)    If you are late to the event, please park your vehicle on the roadside, outside the gate and walk in. This helps other participants keep their night vision by avoiding your headlights.

2)    Because white light from flashlights makes it harder to see the night sky, use only red-lamped flashlights, or retrofit your regular flashlight using red cellophane and a rubber band.

3)    If you have a new telescope that you’d like to bring, please do a trial run at home to make sure you know how to properly operate your equipment.

Donation request: $10 Sequoia Riverlands Trust members; $15 non-members. Join that day and attend the program for free. Memberships start at $35 for an individual or $50 for a family.

About Dry Creek Preserve: Since California Portland Cement Company donated this 152-acre quarry north of Lemon Cove in 2004, Sequoia Riverlands Trust has been restoring natural stream flows, re-contouring disturbed areas, seeding native grasses and planting oak and sycamore trees. As of December 2009, this preserve is the first example of an ecologically-based aggregate mine reclamation in Tulare County. SRT will be opening the preserve for year-round public enjoyment in late spring of 2011. The preserve serve the community as a place to enjoy natural river environments while learning how retired gravel mines can again provide wildlife habitat, scenic beauty and an opportunity for community stewardship.

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