Thanks to funding approved by the Orange Beach City Council, the Sea, Sand, & Stars Science and Nature Center at Orange Beach Elementary School will once again be open to the public during the summer.
The center will be open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 3-27 and July 8-25. Staff members will offer the public a rotating schedule for guided tours, night sky presentations, IMAX type movies in the planetarium and special guests that typically include friends from the Orange Beach Wildlife Center.
The facility features a 6,000-gallon saltwater aquarium, 1,500-gallon marine life touch tank, 800-foot nature boardwalk with a weather station, the planetarium, a microscope lab, a library and a gift shop.
Steven W. Baker Sea, Sand, & Stars Science and Nature Center first opened in 2007 and has been made possible through generous contributions from Brett/Robinson Construction, the City of Orange Beach and the Baldwin County Board of Education. More than a decade ago the seeds were planted for a hands-on facility for island school students to learn about the natural resources of the area.
The idea soon drew the interest of several prominent business and civic leaders. With their help, the Sea, Sand and Stars interactive facility became a reality.
In addition to the beautiful aquarium with a large variety of Gulf fish, the touch tank, the center’s 38-seat planetarium has a Digitarium Alpha II Projector, allowing visitors a real-time look through this amazing window into space. The center’s microscope laboratory allows students to get a closer look at marine life. Outside, an 800-foot boardwalk leads to four large outdoor gazebo classrooms where students learn about birds. In partnership with WKRG TV, there is also a weather station complete with measuring and monitoring technology.
Reservations are not required for the summer season opening, but are highly recommended if individuals plan on taking the guided tour or have a group of 10 or more. Walk-ins are welcome.
In March, the Orange Beach City Council approved funding, totalling $18,144, to partner with Orange Beach Elementary School to open Sea, Sand, and Stars Science and Nature Center during the summer of 2019. The funds cover staffing for the seven weeks the center will be open. The council's contribution will mark the fourth consecutive year that Sea, Sand and Stars will be open to the public for the summer.
For more information or to make a tour reservation, call 251-981-5690. A $5 per person minimum donation is always appreciated.
An adult must accompany and is responsible for all children (under 18 years of age) in their party.
For more information, visit www.seasandandstars.com or go to the Sea, Sand and Stars Science and Nature Center's Facebook page.