Preserve hosts meteor viewing

Published 10:11 pm Monday, August 1, 2016

Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve will be the place for stargazers to be in about two weeks. On Aug. 12, the preserve will host a kayak paddle during the Perseid meteor shower.

Every August, as the Earth passes through debris left by comet Swift-Tuttle, the planet is exposed to one the best meteor showers of the year.

Beginning just before midnight, attendees will kayak on Lake Ballard to see the shower. Helen Kuhns, executive director of the Hoffler Creek Wildlife Foundation, believes the lake will be one of the best places in the city to see the shower.

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“The lake is a pretty good dark spot, because trees are surrounding the lake,” Kuhns said. “The next best place would be somewhere out in the countryside.”

The preserve has hosted kayak events in past but this marks the first meteor shower paddle. James Bussey, the foundation’s communication and programs coordinator, came up with the idea.

Bussey, who is an avid stargazer, had intended to see the meteor shower on his own. However, he convinced Kuhns to have the foundation host the event, instead.

“This is his brainchild,” Kuhns said with a chuckle.

Bussey foresees the group staying out on the lake to watch the shower until about 3 a.m. Then, for those staying overnight, they will head back to camp for pizza and s’mores.

Kuhns encourages kayakers of all skill levels to attend.

“The lake remains pretty still, so it is pretty easy to paddle,” she said.

Participants must be at least 21 years of age, and advance registration is required.

The reason for the age restriction is to “have control of who is going to be there” because the event takes place overnight, Bussey said.

To date, eight people have registered, and Kuhns predicts the amount of participants will double within the next week.

Attendees are encouraged to use the provided kayaks, but they can also bring their own. Entry fees are $50 for non-members and $30 for foundation members.

“This is something new and different, and we are excited to meet new stargazer friends,” Kuhns said.

For additional information and registration, email or call 686-8684.