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Louisville Astronomical Society honored for outreach efforts

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 7, 2014) – The Louisville Astronomical Society, which has an education center at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park, was recognized by Astronomy magazine for outstanding public programming in 2013.

The “Out-of-this-World” award honored the Louisville Astronomical Society or the number and variety of programs offered by LAS. The organization has its urban astronomy center at the state park.

“This year, we focused on our unique LAS Urban Astronomy Center (UAC) located in E. P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer State Park right here in Louisville,” LAS president Ken Alderson told the magazine in its March issue. The 2,000-s.f. astronomy education center was established in 2007 at the 580-acre park, which is an oasis of darkness in an urban environment.

Using the Urban Astronomy Center as a jumping off point, the group hosted 96 events in the Louisville area and across the commonwealth during 2013, attracting 6,053 people with the help of 57 volunteers.

The magazine awards a $2,500 prize to the winner. LAS plans to use it to buy a new PC, laptop, telescope and binoculars for the center.

For more information about Louisville Astronomical Society activities, including those at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park, visit louisville-astro.org.

E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park features an Olympic-size outdoor pool; fully functional gymnasium with basketball, badminton and pickleball courts; athletic fields for soccer, lacrosse and flag football; a three-field softball complex; tennis courts; archery range; radio controlled airfield; and BMX bicycle track. The park offers a nature trail and large meadow and forested green space. The Louisville Dog Run Association calls the park home with a fenced in six-acre track for dogs to enjoy. A large reception hall and conference room are available at the Sawyer Hayes Community Center. The park also has three picnic shelters. For more information, visit parks.ky.gov or call 502-429-3280.