Category Archives: event
The King of Planets, Jupiter, will share the night sky with colorful star clusters, nebulae (interstellar clouds of dust and gasses), and distant galaxies at the May 20 Star Party at Prineville Reservoir State Park.
“Central Oregon skies are typically clear and generally free of light pollution, the optimum mix for unforgettable views of night sky objects,” said Paul Patton, resource specialist with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). “Prineville Reservoir, in particular, is an incredible spot for stargazing. The annual star party is a great early-summer activity for everyone to enjoy.”
Saturday will kick off at 1 p.m. with a scaled down, guided stroll through the solar system. Young rocketeers can design, build and then safely launch their rockets at 3 p.m. followed by a special presentation about Jupiter at 5 p.m. Events leading up to the main stargazing session include a 7 p.m. presentation on astronomy with binoculars and an 8 p.m. astronomy phone apps review. At 10 p.m. “partygoers” can gather at a permanent observatory housing “Big Doug,” a 16-inch telescope, to peer through it and other telescopes provided by professional and amateur astronomers.
A new activity this year is a Virtual Reality Experience Station—goggles provided. Other activities include a solar viewing/solar eclipse information station; a telescope technology display; various children’s activities focused on astronomical science; and a Space Art exhibit featuring renowned space artist and photographer John Foster.
Starting at 8 a.m. April 19, 2017, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will open reservations for approximately 1,000 campsites for the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse. These sites are in addition to our regular campsites, most of which have been reserved since November 2016.
About two-thirds of the new sites are inside the path of totality, where visitors will see a total solar eclipse. Most of the others are within 30 miles of totality, in view of a partial eclipse. Prices range from $10 a night for a basic spot in a field or parking lot to $31 a night for an RV site with full hookups. All sites include an $8 nonrefundable reservation fee.
“We want to make this once-in-a-lifetime event available to as many campers as we can safely accommodate. That’s why we decided to add additional campsites, all at an affordable cost,” said OPRD spokesman Chris Havel.
All sites will have a three-night minimum, with check-in on Friday, Aug. 18 and check-out Monday, Aug. 21. Customers can make reservations beginning at 8 a.m. April 19 at oregonstateparks.org or reserveamerica.com or by calling the reservation line at 800-452-5687. Questions? Call the Oregon State Parks Information Center at 1-800-551-6949, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Customers may also email their questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPRD is making available two types of sites: traditional campsites and temporary eclipse camping spots.
Traditional campsites, representing about a third of the total sites available, are at parks that normally offer non-reservable, “first-come, first-served” camping. These have picnic tables and fire rings, but some do not have showers. No first-come, first-served camping will be available at these parks the nights of Aug. 18-20:
- Coast: Beachside, Carl G. Washburne (both outside the path of totality).
- Willamette Valley: North Santiam, Cascadia (both in path of totality); Cascara Campground at Fall Creek Reservoir (outside the path of totality).
- Central and Eastern: Farewell Bend, Unity Lake, Clyde Holliday, and Bates (all in path of totality); Cottonwood Canyon, Catherine Creek, Ukiah-Dale, Minam, Red Bridge, Hilgard Junction, Lake Owyhee and Jasper Point (all outside path of totality) .
Two-thirds of the sites are in temporary eclipse camping areas at campgrounds and day-use parks with sufficient space and facilities. These $10 and $11 per-night sites provide a place to park and camp in a parking lot or field, but little else. They do not have hookups, fire pits or picnic tables. Some are at parks without flush toilets or showers; OPRD is adding portable toilets to accommodate extra people. Visitors with reservations for a temporary eclipse site will be assigned a space on arrival at the park.
- Coast: South Jetty at South Beach, Fogarty Creek, Driftwood Beach and Governor Patterson Memorial (all in path of totality).
- Valleys: Silver Falls, Willamette Mission (all in path of totality); Champoeg (on the edge of totality); Milo McIver (outside path of totality).
- Central and Eastern: Smith Rock, The Cove Palisades, Farewell Bend (in path of totality); Cottonwood Canyon (outside path of totality).
Site descriptions for all eclipse camping areas are at oregonstateparks.org, along with links to other camping and lodging options in the state. No camping will be available for anyone without a reservation in the campgrounds listed above on Aug. 18-20.
To accommodate additional campers, OPRD will place extra staff in parks in and near totality and bring in portable toilets. OPRD is also collaborating with local and state authorities on traffic, crowd control and safety.
“Transportation planners predict unprecedented traffic and crowds during the eclipse weekend, and we are planning accordingly,” Havel said. “We ask that campers plan to stay off the roads on the morning of Aug. 21 and respect any fire restrictions.”
Campfires may be prohibited, depending on wildfire danger and the weather forecast. The Oregon Department of Forestry will post any wildfire restrictions at keeporegongreen.org/current-conditions/.
The eclipse will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 21, 2017. The 60-mile wide path of totality–when the moon completely blocks the sun–will last for about two minutes starting at 10:15 a.m. on the coast between Newport and Lincoln City. The path of totality then sweeps through the state and on to Idaho, then runs across the United States toward South Carolina. Those outside the path of totality will see a partial eclipse. For more information about the eclipse, visit bit.ly/OregonStateParks2017Eclipse.
The 22nd annual Eagle Watch celebration is set for Feb. 25-26 at Round Butte Overlook Park. The celebration honors eagles and other raptors that live in the Lake Billy Chinook area and activities explore the natural and cultural significance of the birds to tribal culture and traditions.
The two-day celebration hosted by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), Portland General Electric (PGE), Crooked River Grasslands, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS) features resident bald eagles and golden eagles. The event runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26. Festivities will be in “Eagle Village” at Round Butte Overlook Park’s visitor center, 10 miles west of Madras.
Event attendees can meet Aquila, a rehabilitated golden eagle, as well as a great horned owl that lives at the Sunriver Nature Center. Saturday at noon, children can meet JR Beaver, Smokey Bear and Larry the Lightbulb. Children are also invited to take part in our eagle race (on Saturday) or make a bird feeder (on Sunday). Madras Garden Center will show how to create a backyard refuge to enjoy birdwatching year-round at your own home.
Wildlife biologists have recorded eleven bald eagle pairs and nine golden eagle pairs living in the area year-round, and migrant bald eagles join the resident birds from January through March. For those who want more, on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. attendees can go to Smith Rock State Park for an hour-long guided tour with Oregon Eagle Foundation volunteer David Vick.
The Quartz Creek Drummers and Dancers will give a special presentation of tribal drumming and dancing sponsored by Warm Springs Power and Water Enterprises at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Admission and parking at PGE’s Round Butte Overlook Park are free. Attendees can buy souvenirs and take part in a daily silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the Oregon Eagle Foundation. Indian Fry bread proceeds will support sending local kids to the rodeo, and donations for lunch support Culver Middle School’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program. Only cash and checks will be accepted; no ATM is on site.
For information, call Oregon State Parks Information at 800-551-6949 or The Cove Palisades State Park at 541-546-3412 or visit oregonstateparks.org. Information will also be posted on the Cove Palisades blog, The Cove Rattler, at covepalisades.wordpress.com and on Facebook.