In 2010 the Observatory team began construction of a 3,000 square foot garden area adjacent to the outside observing deck. The objective was to have an outdoor daytime activity area for visiting school classes so we could support multiple “hands-on” activities at once for large group visits. In addition, we sought to have a beautiful and restful place for high school students to visit, and a pleasant gathering place for groups beginning tours of our “true-scale” solar system.
The garden contains large granite benches, stone walkways, many varieties of perennial plants, a circular patio surrounding our six-foot sun, the “1,000 Suns for New Milford” sunflower beds enclosed in a stone surrounding structure, large boulders relating to the geographic history of the region, and border trees to enclose the perimeter. It will soon contain a number of granite sculptures related to space exploration, and proudly hosts the magnificent nine-foot tall stainless steel Kathleen Fischer equatorial sundial, containing a precise bronze replica of Galileo’s first telescope constructed in 1609.
In honor of the Father of modern astronomy, we have named this “Galileo’s Garden”.