The idea for a visitor’s center for the Mt. Graham International Observatory (MGIO) in Safford began in the mid-1980s. Plans for the center quickly expanded and eventually became known as Discovery Park, an education and entertainment retreat, emphasizing the science and culture of the Gila Valley, from mining and agriculture to space exploration.
The University of Arizona donated a research-grade 20” Cassegrain reflector telescope and dome for the Gov Aker Observatory. The Vatican Observatory donated a radio telescope. A full-motion simulator takes guests on a ride past Mt. Graham to tour the solar system. As the park grew, Nature’s Hideaway was added as a riparian habitat just south of the Gov Aker Observatory.
In the summer of 2006, the park came under the control of Eastern Arizona College’s Governing Board. “The park now has a much better foundation upon which it can thrive as an educational campus, emphasizing science and technology for the leaders of tomorrow. The park, which is now known as Eastern Arizona College - Discovery Park, will continue as a multi-purpose educational and research facility. The MGIO visits will continue and the facility will still be available for group rentals. EAC classes such as Rocketry and Environmental Biology will continue, and the College will be planning additional course offerings and events which will allow students and the community to take advantage of the unique environmental, technological, and educational features of the park.”
Monday: 10:00am - 12:00pm & 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Tuesday: 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Wednesday: 10:00am - 12:00pm & 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Thursday: 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Friday: 10:00am - 12:00pm & 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Saturday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm
Sunday and Holidays: Closed
* Occasionally, other obligations may require facilities to be closed during normal hours.
Admission is free; however, certain performances and activities may require a fee. Please contact our office at (928) 428-6260 for more details.