• Stars appear behind a dramatic landscape of rocky mountains, rolling hills, and fields of grass

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

National Park Service Hosts Free Summer Star Festival August 2

Summer Star Party at Paramount Ranch
The National Park Service and the Ventura County Astronomical Society will host a Summer Star Party on August 2 at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills. The free event will feature star-gazing, constellation tours, music and children's activities.
Mike Shaw

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News Release Date: July 14, 2014
Contact: Kate Kuykendall, 805-370-2343

AGOURA, Calif. – The National Park Service invites the public to attend the Summer Star Festival on Saturday, August 2 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Paramount Ranch in Agoura. The free event will feature star-gazing, constellation tours, music and children's activities.

"We share a dark sky oasis with those who want to escape the glow of city lights," said Robert Cromwell, park ranger for the National Park Service. "We invite the public to come out and view the Milky Way galaxy in all of its splendor!"

The free event will begin with the Santa Monica Mountains Ranger Band playing astronomy-themed rock music, followed by a family-friendly lecture by Cal Lutheran University Professor Mike Shaw and a constellation tour by Hal Jandorf, astronomy professor at Moorpark College.

From 8:45 to 10:30 p.m., visitors are invited to view the crescent moon, Saturn, Mars and other objects in the Milky Way Galaxy through high-powered telescopes. There will also be family-friendly astronomical activities and the opportunity to learn about nocturnal animals.

Astronomy enthusiasts are encouraged to bring their own telescopes, if available, as well as flashlights and warm clothing.

Paramount Ranch is located at 2903 Cornell Road in Agoura Hills. In the event of rain, the program will be cancelled. For more information, call 805-370-2301.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) is the largest urban national park in the country, encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. A unit of the National Park System, it comprises a seamless network of local, state and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, SMMNRA preserves the rich biological diversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/samo. 

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Did You Know?

The need for plants used in restoration projects loomed large for many years, but volunteers made it happen.

A core group of dedicated National Park volunteers, often laboring in the hot sun, built a native plant nursery from the ground up in 2002. Native plants, from the common Ceanothus to the endangered Lyons pygmy daisy germinated in this volunteer-run nursery will help restore disturbed habitat.