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More about Discovery Park
The idea for a visitor’s center for the Mt. Graham International Observatory (MGIO) in Safford began in the mid-1980s. Plans for the center quickly expanded and eventually became known as Discovery Park, an education and entertainment retreat, emphasizing the science and culture of the Gila Valley, from mining and agriculture to space exploration.
The University of Arizona donated a research-grade 20” Cassegrain reflector telescope and dome for the Gov Aker Observatory. The Vatican Observatory donated a radio telescope and loans several exhibits to the park, including an astrolabe made in 1608 and the Mertz Telescope, constructed in 1870 in Morocco. As the park grew, Nature’s Hideaway was added as a riparian habitat just east of the Gov Aker Observatory.
In the summer of 2006, the park came under the control of Eastern Arizona College’s Governing Board. The park now has a much better foundation upon which it can thrive as an educational campus, emphasizing science and technology for the leaders of tomorrow. EAC classes such as Rocketry and Environmental Biology are offered at the campus, and the College will be planning additional course offerings and events which will allow students and the community to take advantage of the unique environmental, technological, and educational features of the park.
Open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday, 4:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
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