A significant portion of the yearly cost to operate the Sunriver Nature Center and Oregon Observatory comes from generous donations. In addition to monetary donations, all of the equipment used in the observatory has either been donated to us, or purchased using donations. Most of the expansion projects at the Nature Center & Observatory were undertaken through generous donations from the community. Large donations can be directed towards projects that are of particular interest to you or applied towards the general fund or endowment.
We are also lucky enough to receive hundreds of smaller donations every year. These are essential to the operation of the Nature Center and Observatory. These donations can be made as part of your membership renewal.
If you are interested in making a tax deductable donation,
Or please contact us by phone, email, or in person.
Donations go toward improving our existing facility, adding to our existing facility, and improving or maintaining current equipment. Below is a list of current projects the observatory is undertaking as well as some equipment or improvements the organization is looking to acquire to better educate the community.
Help us in 2016 to allow us to grow the observatory with your donations:
Stairway to the Stars Expansion project:
Help us build our expansion of another roll of roof, going off the east side of the current dome, and will allow for six more telescope piers, solar exhibits, and storage. This area will be used for daytime and night-time programs. With using the same design as our current roll off, we will be able to spread our guests on the busy nights to more space, and will help us expand the solar program too. This project includes new telescopes, exhibits and the much-needed space for our programs. The building costs are about $125,000 and the exhibits and all the astronomy hardware is around $100,000. We need your help to make this a reality. We need your help to make it happen.
Solar Viewing Outreach Sponsorship: Equipment for solar viewing is not the only cost of our solar viewing outreach. To bring free solar viewing to the rest of Central Oregon, we need sponsorship to offset staff and travel expenses. The observatory is currently setting up day and location details for summer of 2016 and is looking for business sponsorships for 2017 and beyond. Your help in getting to the goal of $2000 and up, will make it possible for us to offer this very special view of our own star, the Sun.
Real View of the Universe: Whether through normal wear (our eyepieces can experience up to 200 sets of eyes viewing through them almost every night during the summer), incidental damage, or newer technology with better views, the observatory will have need of new equipment from time-to-time in order to provide the best experience possible for our guests. We currently looking to upgrade our eyepieces. Your donations will make it possible to give all of our guests a view to remember. Tele Vue Ethos 17mm eyepiece: This new eyepiece from Tele Vue has a fantastic 100° field of view and we are looking to add this eyepiece to our nightly equipment. This eyepiece retails at about $700.
Tele Vue Delos eyepieces: These eyepieces are like "baby" Ethos, and the stunning views they offer make them well worth their price tag. The observatory would love to add a few different Delos to our equipment. Cost is about $320
Deep Sky Filters: These deep sky filters are used to increase contrast for normally difficult to see objects, and we are looking to purchase six more at around $90 each.
Meteorite Exhibit: The exhibit we currently have inside the Nature Center is one of the largest displays of meteorites on the West Coast. Many of these specimens are on loan, and we are always looking financial support to improve our current exhibit and purchase our own specimens. Any amount you would like to donate towards our expanding exhibit would be appreciated.
Wall Exhibits: We are planning to add informational exhibits that drop down from our roll off roof to better use the area between the roof supports when open. $2500 has been budgeted to purchase, install, and light 4-8 displays.
Portable Planetarium System: The staff plan to add this portable planetarium, that will be used onsite or taken to schools for part of our Astronomy-to-go program. The digital projector and inflatable dome is sure to be a hit with guests and students, as we are able to do programs no matter the weather or time of day. We are looking for donations to make it possible for us to add this educational tool. We hope you can make our dream come alive, so we can add this to our 2017 programs. We will need to raise $65,000 to complete this project.