Stargazing at Cedar Breaks

FUNDED: $35,976

Cedar Breaks National Monument has become a mecca for global visitors who wish to enjoy a naturally Dark-Sky night. As one of only 60 sites worldwide certified as an International Dark-Sky Park, Cedar Breaks received the prestigious designation for seeking to protect the scientific, natural, educational, and cultural heritage of its night sky. Preservation priorities were centered in helping retain the resource for continued public enjoyment. With cities in southern Utah growing at some of the highest rates in the country, continued community support for Dark- Sky preservation is imperative.

In 2018, Cedar Breaks demonstrated leadership by developing innovative education and outreach programs that impact visitors, local communities, and civic leaders. Through its impactful one-of-a-kind programs, Cedar Breaks is training Master Astronomers, lending telescopes through local libraries, hosting the Southwest Astronomy Festival, and providing summer Star Parties. In the last year, Cedar Breaks trained 35 Master Astronomers who volunteered more than 400 hours doing astronomy outreach. More than 350 families checked out telescopes through local libraries. Cedar Breaks united agency and nonprofit partners in the three-day Southwest Astronomy festival, where more than 1000 residents came to campgrounds, elementary schools, museums, and the parks to view and better understand the night sky. On summer nights, Cedar Breaks brings thousands of stargazers to its Star Parties. Through these and other efforts, Cedar Breaks is creating a community of Dark-Sky stewards.

Moving into 2019, Cedar Breaks seeks to ensure that the transformational experiences visitors and local communities encountered during 2018 will still be possible looking years into the future. To achieve this long-term goal, park leadership seeks funding to sustain and expand programs that meet the needs of both international visitors and local residents