The Marie Drake Planetarium

Where the stars always shine in Juneau, AK

Planet and Bird Walk at Twin Lakes
2023 Project in partnership with Juneau Audubon

What is a Planet Walk?

  • A Planet Walk is a scale model of our solar system designed to fit within a set boundary. he location of each sign is scaled to approximate the featured planet’s distance from the sun. Planet walks let people visualize the space between planets and the sun.
  • There are many planet walks around the world including one in Fairbanks and one in Anchorage.
  • Our planet walk will be unique in being combined with a bird walk.

Why did we choose Twin Lakes?

  • Twin Lakes is a popular park with a 1.1 mile flat gravel pathway.
  • The Twin Lakes park is run by CBJ . Per CBJ website “Twin Lakes is Juneau’s premier family park. With plenty of picnic spots, grassy hills to roll down, Project Playground to climb and swing from, and of course the lake itself for swimming/fishing/boating in the summer and skating in winter, there’s something here for everyone”. It also has parking.
  • Twin Lakes was the location of previous planet walk done crated in 1992. Original planet walk was planets painted on the walkway. The project was organized by Michael Orelove and has long needed to be redone.
  • Permission has already been obtained from Park and Recreation (CBJ).
  • Project Playground is also on board and will make a donation for paint.
  • Juneau Audubon would provide the bulk of money needed and the planetarium would be in charge of logistically bringing project to fruition

Why a Joint Planet and Bird Walk?

  • Twin Lakes has a variety of birds. See article by Audubon Alaska: (https://ak.audubon.org/southeast-alaska-birding-trail-town/twin-lakes .
  • Juneau Audubon was willing and able to help with funding.
  • Each planet sign will also have a bird on it.
  • The birds will be on a sign with a corresponding planet  For example, since Mercury is the smallest planet, the sign for Mercury has information on the smallest bird found in Twin Lakes - the humming bird. If the male and female birds look different, both with be on the sign/

Progress on the New Planet and Bird Walk

  • Juneau Audubon is working on text and images for the 9 high quality signs.
  • The planetarium is working on the text and images for 10 signs: the Sun and 9 planets.
  • There will also be QR codes on the signs to learn more about planets and birds.
  • A planetarium volunteer is designing the signs.
  • The planetarium has developed a budget and seeking donations for the project.
  • The planetarium is seeking a community group to volunteer to install the signs.
  • Parks and Recreation are donating posts for the signs.

Email us at [email protected] if you have comments, questions or would like to help.

Click here for other ways to donate.