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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif – National Park Service rangers from Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) will host a “Park After Dark Festival” on July 29 from 7 to 10 p.m.
The free event will be held at Peter Strauss Ranch, 30000 Mulholland Highway in Agoura Hills. Parking is free.
There will be various telescopes available for visitors to check out the moon, planetary nebulas, star clusters, and a double star. Using ultraviolet flashlights, visitors can venture out on a one-mile hike in search of scorpions with ultraviolet (UV) flashlights. The “Tarantula Den” will display various arachnids from around the world and one tarantula species found within the Santa Monica Mountains.
Several educational booths will feature nocturnal animals such as owls, insects, and bats. Chumash Elder Dennis Garcia will tell “campfire” stories in the outdoor auditorium. After the program, visitors of all ages can become Night Sky Junior Rangers and receive a patch.
It is optional for visitors to bring red lens flashlights to help conserve nighttime vision throughout the event. The information booth will have red cellophane for visitors to wrap around their cellphones and additional flashlights.
Schedule of events:
7p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Chumash songs & stories by Chumash Elder Dennis Garcia
7:45 p.m.– 8:30 p.m. Astronomy presentation by Gary Bostrup
8:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Constellation tour with Ranger Ken Low
8:30 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. Scorpion hikes
8:45 p.m. – 10 p.m. Telescope viewing
*All other activities are from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
For more information, please call the Santa Monica Mountains Visitor Center at 805-370-2301.