Oklahoma Star Party to Offer Views Out of This World

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the Friends of Hackberry Flat are hosting a star party at the Hackberry Flat Center located south of Frederick. Join Mike Caywood, manager of Alabaster Caverns State Park and amateur astronomer, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10 to learn all about the winter night sky. The event is free and refreshments will be provided.

Melynda Hickman, wildlife diversity biologist for the Wildlife Department encourages everyone to come out to the program, whether cloudy or clear. “Hackberry Flat is a perfect spot for viewing the constellations, planets, the Milky Way Galaxy, and other celestial objects of the night sky,” she said. “This program will capture the imagination and wonders of the night sky.” Attendees are urged to dress warmly and to bring an outdoor chair and blanket. Telescopes will be set up, weather permitting.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015, Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area, located near Frederick in southwestern Oklahoma, offers 7,120 acres of wildlife recreational opportunities. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, along with many conservation-minded partners, restored this legendary wetland, creating a vast mosaic of wetland habitats for prairie waterfowl, shorebirds and other wetland-dependent birds. Upland areas of native sunflowers and cultivated fields interspersed with mesquite have become one of the state’s premier dove-hunting destinations. Open for scheduled events, including a raptor program in February and Hackberry Flat Day in April, the modern Hackberry Flat Center offers interpretive guidance for wildlife enthusiasts, students and educators. For more information, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.

To get to the Hackberry Flat Center, from Frederick, take U.S. 183 south for one mile, then go east on Airport Road for three miles. Follow the blacktop road south, and continue six miles. Watch for signs to the center.

For more information about this and other educational programs held at Hackberry Flat Center, contact Melynda Hickman at melynda.hickman@odwc.ok.gov or by phone at (405) 990-4977.