San Manuel Miner
With a brand new designation and a new director at the helm, Oracle State Park has begun its transformation.
On Saturday, new Arizona State Parks Director Sue Black, members of the International Dark Sky Association, park rangers and staunch supporters gathered at the Oracle State Park to celebrate these changes.
Visitors were able to learn from educational booths from the International Dark Sky Association, Oracle Dark Skies Committee, Arizona Trail Association, Lower San Pedro Watershed Alliance, Cascabel Conservation Association, Friends of Oracle State Park and Catalina Sky Survey.
During the day people were able to look through telescopes set up to see the sun and the spots around the sun. Everyone was eager to share their knowledge and equipment with visitors. Oracle Patio Café catered the event and local bands provided entertainment.
Black, who just recently took the helm from Bryan Martin, spoke about her goals for the local park.
“I am a huge field advocate,” she said. “I really care about what happens on the properties and I hope I make you proud.” Black is the first director to report directly to the Governor, which she sees as a huge opportunity.
IDA Executive Director Scott Feierabend presented the Oracle State Park with a plaque designating Oracle State Park as a Dark Sky Park. There are only 20 of these designations worldwide and this is a great honor for Oracle State Park.
“It is all about the effort the park takes to do the right thing with lighting to try to show the world the resource it has and to obtain the support of the community which results in this award today,” Feierabend said.
There were many awards given to community members and businesses from the Oracle State Park for their participation and cooperation with the Oracle State Park including Arizona Trail Association, Cascabel Conservation Association, Cherry Valley Ranch B&B, Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition, Friends of Oracle State Park, Hair Country, Keith Krueger, Lower San Pedro Watershed Alliance, Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT) Observatory, The Nature Conservancy, Oracle Elementary School District #2, Oracle Historial Society, Pinal County Board of Supervisors, Pinal County Supervisor Pete Rios,Oracle Ford, Circle K, Ernest & Maria Gonzales, Jones Outdoor Advertising, Arizona Dept of Transportation, Mary Huebner, MrStarGuy Inc, Oceanside Photo & Telescope, Meade Instruments Corp, Explore Scientific, Gilbert Esquerdo, International Dark-Sky Association.
Everyone enjoyed the presentations, awards and afterwards the Two O’Clock band played music at the Kannally house and telescopes were set up for viewing after sundown. It was a terrific event and well attended.