Twenty-one years ago, an anonymous, philanthropic couple, fondly known as Mr. and Mrs. Old Bill, envisioned a collaborative event to support local nonprofits. For the first time, organizations came together in an efficient, unified fundraiser that raised awareness of community needs. Over the last two decades, more than $146 million has been raised for local organizations, and it has inspired similar events around the country.
One of the most innovative fundraisers in the nation, Old Bill’s Fun Run is also one of the most successful. In 2017, the event raised $12,168,165 from nearly 3,798 donors. Old Bill’s has brought an astounding $146 million philanthropic dollars to our community. These funds are busy feeding the hungry, supporting the sick and elderly, teaching kids to read, protecting wildlife, building affordable housing, enriching our lives through the arts and touching the lives of everyone in Teton County.
In 2019, you can give to Wyoming Stargazing beginning August 1st through 5pm on September 14th. Join us Saturday, September 7th, for Old Bill’s Fun Run on Jackson’s Town Square!
It’s been an exciting couple of weeks at Wyoming Stargazing. We’ve set up the Dark Sky Pavilion and Planetarium a couple of times for Madness Days at Melvin Brewing and at Base Camp for Wilderness Adventures at Snow King. We also had the great privilege to offer stargazing programs for some really amazing people including Sara Blakely the Founder of Spanx, Blake Mycoskie the Founder and Owner of Tom’s Shoes, and Usher…seriously we really did a stargazing program for Usher and his family. We had a wonderful time sharing the Cosmos with all of those distinguished guests and we look forwarded to doing that with you too under Wyoming’s extraordinary skies!
Once you get hooked on stargazing by looking through one of our huge telescopes in Jackson Hole and you’re planning on another adventure somewhere out West check out the night sky with other seasoned professionals.
The first installment of our World Above the Tetons Science Speaker Series was a huge success with over 250 attending! A huge thanks to our sponsors, to everyone who showed up, and to Astronaut Scott for a wonderful presentation. We’ve just as excited about the next event featuring Jill Tarter, co-founder of Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), on Saturday September 29th at 7pm at Walk Festival Hall. Tickets are on sale here (KIDS and students are FREE!)
Wyoming Stargazing was featured in a NY Times article today about stargazing in the western hemisphere. Astrotourism is a rapidly growing industry and Wyoming Stargazing is honored to be a big part of sharing the Cosmos with the public. Read more…
Come on down to the Eco Fair at Phil Baux Park (base of Snow King Mountain this Saturday) from 12pm-5pm to check out the Dark Sky Pavilion and some digital full dome movies inside our planetarium. We’ll be powering the Dark Sky Pavilion and the planetarium using Creative Energies solar trailer. Let’s hope for sunshine!
Thanks to the generous support of people like you Wyoming Stargazing is offering even more FREE, year-round public stargazing/planetarium programs. In the past we’ve had to cancel many of these programs because of bad weather, but not anymore! Now, we have the The Dark Sky Pavilion that was designed by local artist Natalie Clark and designer Jakub Galczynski and funded by Natalie Clark, the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, and the Center of Wonder. The Dark Sky Pavilion allows us to almost NEVER cancel any more public programs.
When it’s clear on a Friday nights we’ll have our telescopes out from at Rendezvous Park during the warmer months (May-September) from 9:30-11:30pm and at the Center for the Arts lawn during colder months (October-April) from 7:30-9:30pm. When it’s cloudy we’ll have the Dark Sky Pavilion set-up with our digital planetarium inside from 5:30pm-7:30pm at those sane locations.
So, join us tomorrow night, Friday, Oct 20th from 5:30pm-7:30pm on the lawn at the Center for the Arts for a FREE public planetarium program!
Earlier this week our Executive Director, Dr. Samuel Singer, led Wyoming Stargazing’s 1,000th astronomy program since our very first program in March of 2014. We’ve come a long way since that first, cold, winter night at the Stilson Parking Lot. We’d like to thank everyone who has helped us along the way from folks who volunteered at just one event and to the folks that keep coming back time after time, to our amazing donors and board of directors, to the more than 20,000 people who have attended our programs, to our staff both past and present, to the concierge who help us book stargazing programs, to the people who believed in us from the very beginning and selflessly gave up their time to help us, and to the amazing community organizations that supported us over the last few years which include, but are not limited to: The Center of Wonder, The Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, the Center for the Arts, pARTners, Rendezvous Lands Conservancy, 1% for the Tetons, The Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board, the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium, Quiznos, the Whole Grocer, Lucky’s, Elevated Grounds, Teton County Park and Recreation, and others.
A special thanks to Mike Cavaroc and Jakub Galczynski who have been helping us from the beginning and continue to do so all the time!
The 1,000th program took place in our brand new digital planetarium inside the Dark Sky Pavilion (pictured below) designed by local artist Natalie Clark and Jakub Galczynski. The facility was made possible for generous grants from the Center of Wonder, the Community Foundation and Jackson Hole, and other private donations. Thanks to everyone who made this possible.
The epic moment of totality is just hours ahead! Wyoming Stargazing, as well as the Jackson community have been working incredibly hard to make this eclipse event as memorable as possible. The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse has given us the perfect opportunity to give back to our community and excel in our mission statement to “educate and inspire through Wyoming’s extraordinary skies”! It’s been a wild ride from local eclipse information presentations, to distributing actual, legitimate solar shades across the country, and finally, bringing our solar scopes to the summit of Snow King Mountain.
We want to take this time to thank you for reading our updates and keeping an open mind to the possibilities and progress of space and science. We hope you enjoy Eclipse Day and create enjoyable memories of your time spent in Jackson Hole. Wyoming Stargazing extends its sincerest thanks!
Jackson, WY, August 15, 2017 – Partial fire restrictions will be going into effect for Teton County tomorrow, August 16th. The restrictions are based in part on the current high fire danger and predictions of continued warm and dry weather. Other significant factors include increased visitation to the area during the upcoming total solar eclipse and current regional and national fire activity.
While portions of the valley have experienced recent rain, the prevalence of heavy grass growth this spring and summer, along with the predicted increase in human activity on private and public lands during the days before and after the August 21steclipse, have prompted Teton County to go into fire restrictions.
“Even with the recent rains,” noted Interim Chief Mike Moyer, “grasses dry quickly and ignite easily.” Parked cars with hot exhaust systems and the use of camp fires are two main concerns for wildland fire starts. “The combination of the dry grasses, increased eclipse visitation to the area, and the fact that regional and national fire resources are stretched thin, all make it necessary to exercise caution,” Moyer continued. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center has recorded over 73 unattended campfires so far this summer.
Fire officials ask the public to take the fire danger seriously and obey the restrictions in place. Fireworks are prohibited in Teton County at all times of the year. During this restriction, there can be no pile burning in Teton County. Camp fires are allowed only in established fire rings in established camp grounds. The use of listed home fire pits and bowls are permitted so long as used with a screen spark arrester having holes no larger than ¼ inch opening and with a hose with running water and/or hand tools. A cleared area of at least ten foot radius is required for branding activities and the use of acetylene or electric arc cutting torches. For a complete set of restriction rules, go to www.tetonwyo.org/fire.
Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, Bureau of Land Management High Desert District, the National Elk Refuge, and Sublette Counties will also begin fire restrictions this week.