Kanab’s nonprofit Stellar Vista Observatory is pleased to announce it has received a Children’s Outdoor Education Grant from the Utah Governor’s Office of Outdoor Recreation through the Office of Economic Development (GOED). The grant will enable SVO to introduce residents of Kane County to the wonders of direct observation of southern Utah’s exceptional night skies from the comfort of their home, immediate neighborhood or nearby public lands.

SVO will use its award of $3,000 from GOED’s 2020 UCORE grant program, with matching funds from the Kane County Office of Tourism, to purchase astronomy equipment that will enable residents of Kane County to acquire self-directed astronomy experiences over the next 15 months. Titled, Discover the Night Sky, the program is designed to help meet growing community interest and excitement for viewing Utah’s exceptional starry night skies while the COVID-19 pandemic precludes safely engaging in public gatherings. On a first-come, first-served basis, SVO’s astronomy equipment will be provided to residents of Kane County on loan with instructions for proper use at no charge for a period of two weeks with opportunity for renewal, if desired.

This project encourages and facilitates outdoor recreation for youth ages 6-18 with parental guidance at all levels of experience. The program will facilitate enjoyment of the night sky through direct observation of the planets, constellations and stars using simple, but high quality, astronomical equipment. Guidance for successful observation will be provided with each equipment loan while telephone and e-mail support will be available as needed.

SVO expects to begin its Discover the Night Sky project by December 1. If your family or friends are interested in participating, contact SVO at: www.stellarvistaobservatory.org.