Observatory Park is dedicated

The Geauga Park District’s new Observatory Park was dedicated on Saturday, August 20, with a program from 4 PM to midnight.

CAA members Bill Murmann, Bob Wiersma, and Susan Petsche attended the event, which also marked the 50th Anniversary celebration for the Geauga Park District.

Observatory Park, located in Geauga County’s Montville Township, features the new Oberle Observatory with a 25-inch telescope. The observatory was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting at 9:15 PM.

Stargazing until midnight was supposed to be part of the program after the ribbon-cutting. Unfortunately, the skies were cloudy. As the ribbon-cutting took place, however, the skies briefly cleared just enough to show Arcturus, Vega, and part of the handle of the Big Dipper.

Our neighbors and fellow amateur astronomers in the Chagrin Valley Astronomical Association (CVAS) played a key role in establishing the Oberle Observatory, and will continue to assist the Park District in its operation. The 1,100-acre Observatory Park has been designated an official dark-sky site by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).

Eventually, the site will also include the Nassau Station Observatory with its 36-inch research telescope that was formerly operated by the astronomy department at Case Western Reserve University.

Geauga’s Observatory Park grand opening August 20

Photo: Oberle Observatory in Geauga Park District's Observatory Park. Photo by James Guilford.
Oberle Observatory in Geauga Park District's Observatory Park. Photo by James Guilford.

A special evening of activities is planned marking the 50th anniversary of the Geauga Park District. The event also serves as the public’s first viewing of its newest park, Observatory Park. Plans call for everything to get underway at 4:00 PM with a park dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Tours, entertainment, a hot dog dinner, and evening concert are planned. The evening culminates in a first-light ceremony at the new Oberle Observatory itself. Click here for the full schedule of events.

9:15 PM: “First Light Ceremony” Dedication and Ribbon-Cutting of the Oberle Observatory and Telescope. The Newtonian reflector boasts a universe-grabbing 25.5-inch mirror created by legendary local astronomer Norman Oberle. Sandy Oberle donated her late husband’s telescope to the Geauga Park District to continue his legacy by opening the heavens to the public. The ceremony will feature the Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society’s Ian Cooper and Sandy Oberle.

9:15 PM – Midnight: Stargazing hosted by the Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society.

Observatory Park, 10610 Clay Street, Montville Township
Event Open to the Public • Free Entertainment and Education for All Ages • Registration is not required. Call: (440) 286-9516 with questions.