In June 2018, Camp Verde became one of the world’s 20th International Dark Sky Communities. With this designation, Camp Verde created the Dark Sky Committee to begin planning and hosting the Inaugural Camp Verde Dark Sky Festival. Partnerships with the Verde Valley Archaeology Center, Astro Verde Astronomy Club, Camp Verde Days Inn, Lowell Observatory, and Arizona Science Center made this event possible. The Festival offered attendees sky-gazing opportunities, local artist exhibits, and live music. With funding from Arizona Rural Activation and Innovation Network (RAIN) and other partners, the committee was able to organize an incredible community event to showcase the stars and space.
What was the event?
The Festival offered an experience into the astronomical world by providing six telescopes from Astro Verde and one telescope from the Lowell Observatory, as well as a binocular station and a sky-quality meter demonstration by the Camp Verde High School. Astronomers were around all the stations to show participants how to get the best views and answer any questions. There was also a dark sky photography demonstration by photographers from the Rim Country Camera Club. The event featured local food and music for all attendees to enjoy.
What was the impact?
The Festival was a huge success with over 400 attendees gaining experience with telescopes, stargazing, and the magic of space. RAIN was excited to participate in such an amazing, unique festival for the Verde Valley.
The Arizona Rural Activation and Innovation Network (RAIN) is funded by the National Science Foundation to oversee grant funding for informal STEM education projects in four rural Arizona communities: Cochise County, Graham and Greenlee County, the Verde Valley, and the Navapache/White Mountains region. RAIN acts as a resource for best practices in informal STEM program development and works to highlight effective STEM programs, employers and organizations across the state of Arizona. Interested in applying for a grant? Visit our website today and learn more about the opportunities in your community.