Department of Parks
Urban Astronomy Center Opens At E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – If you’ve ever looked to the sky on a clear night and wondered if that bright spot was a star, planet or possibly something else, there’s now a place where you can find the answer.
E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park in Louisville is now the home of the Urban Astronomy Center, operated by the Louisville Astronomical Society. The center hosts free events that allow the public to view the nighttime skies and learn about stars, planets and other astronomical bodies.
The group’s next event is Planet Watch 2007 on Friday, June 22, at when the moon, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus will be viewed. More lunar and planetary viewing events are planned for July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 14, Oct. 19, Nov. 16 and Dec. 14.
The society had used the park before, but in May opened the Urban Astronomy Center in buildings that had previously been used for pottery shops at the park. The center features a classroom, education center, computer lab, restroom and four acres of observing field with plenty of free parking. Society members will provide telescopes for viewing or visitors can bring their own for free lessons.
“Everybody is so excited about our association with the Kentucky State Parks,” said Ken Alderson, president of the Louisville Astronomical Society.
The center is also available for group events for a fee. Senior citizen groups, church groups, school groups and Scout organizations are invited to the events. The society has members who can help scouts earn astronomy badges.
For more information about the Louisville Astronomical Society, visit www.louisville-astro.org
E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park is a 550-acre park in Eastern Jefferson County. It has a swimming pool, fitness and nature trails, tennis courts, sports fields, BMX track, picnic shelters and year-round programming. For information, call 502-429-7270.
To reach the park, take the Gene Snyder Freeway to the Westport Road west exit. Follow the signs to the park, located at 3000 Freys Hill Road. Go to the second park entrance on the right and follow it until it ends at the Urban Astronomy Center.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 53 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov