What happened to Ridgefield's Star Park?

Interested in bringing Star Park back to Ridgefield?

In 2012, Ridgefield resident of 49 years, George Hefferon, a nuclear physicist, optical computer scientist, and Systems Engineer on the Hubble Space Telescope founded Star Park in Ridgefield, CT. Located on Onalfo Field between Ridgefield's Bark Park and the Winter Garden Ice Arena, Star Park was enjoyed by locals for several years.

Sadly, after Hefferon passed away in 2016, the park ceased operation, however, the green sign still stands tall on Hampton Lane at the entrance to Bark Park.

In a previous interview with HamletHub Hefferon said, "It clearly meets our fundamental requirements of a dark sky with a virtually unobstructed view of the horizon in all directions. You park your car by Bark Park, wheel your telescope up the blacktop."

So why no stargazing at Star Park? We learned from Ridgefield Parks and Recreation that Star Park is no longer listed or maintained as one of our Town parks. In addition, as per the Town Conservation Commission, residents are not allowed in Ridgefield open spaces after sunset. This is enforced by Ridgefield Police. Therefore, residents are no longer permitted to star gaze at Star Park.

Star Park was a dream come true for Hefferon and a gift to Ridgefield. He told us in 2012, "One night, years ago, I was coming home from work at about 1 or 2 in the morning and I came over the hill by McKeon Farm...what a sight, there was no moon and you could see the whole sky and I thought, 'wouldn't it be nice if there were a place where you could set-up your telescope somewhere in Ridgefield without getting in trouble for loitering'?"

So how about some stars, Ridgefield?

The re-opening of the park is currently under review there are two Ridgefield residents, astrophotographer Grant Yaun and stargazing enthusiast Sara Hecht who have already expressed interest in re-launching Star Park.

If anyone is interested in participating in this project, please contact Rudy Marconi at (203) 431-2774.


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