Planeteers celebrate Earth Hour



The high school, Planeteers, and members of the Astronomical Society gather round one of the giant telescopes

It was cold, windy and overcast but the 'Planeteers' and members of the Bruce County Astronomical Society persevered, as did many others, in celebrating Earth Hour.

The two groups met at Legault's Independent Grocers in Port Elgin where, owners Marcel and Debbie Legault, showed their support for the event by arranging to turn out all the parking lot tower lights. "We strongly believe in supporting the environment and the dark sky initiative," said Marcel Legault. "As a corporate entity, it can be difficult to provide the full support that we would like to, but we will endeavor to make any changes that we can."

The Planeteers of Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) who organized the event, went so far as to bake moon and star-shaped cookies to the delight of those who came out.

The Bruce County Astronomical Society, despite reports of cloudy skies bordering on rain showers, brought out and set up their various telescopes.

The group is very involved in supporting youth and promoting interest in the 'mysteries of the skies'. The group is presently trying to establish an observatory at the Bluewater Outdoor Education Centre (OEC) complete with a roll-off roof and observation room. In order to achieve their objective, the group has established the Bluewater Education Foundation - Astronomy Project and donations are most welcome [with tax receipts available] by mail to Astronomy Project, P.O. Box 283, Wiarton, ON. N0H 2T0

"It's very important to the planet and the 'dark sky' initiative," said Ross Berkinshaw of the Astronomical Society, "that we have young people interested and tonight proves that they are concerned."

In conjunction with Earth Hour, there was also an event held simultaneously in Port Elgin at the Emerald Sanctuary (formerly the Old Church), where several people gathered by candlelight to listen to music and reflect on time spent without all the electrical amenities.

At the Emerald Sanctuary, Shawn Thompson demonstrates candle-lit 'flashlights'

Kevin Orr & Heather Heath in conversation in the Sanctuary as music is played in the background

People gathered together to wait for 'lights out'

(next column)

29/03/2009 10:45 PM

Setting up a mammoth telescopic oberserver as night falls

Curious young students gather to watch set-up

Debbie & Marcel Legault listen as Ross Berkenshaw (L) explains dark sky

Astronomical Society brought telescopes of every size

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