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DSWCD Announces Go Stars (Dark Skys Initiative) Grant award through Visit Central OR for $95,000 



The inaugural Central Oregon Future Fund supports local projects that provide a lasting impact and benefit both residents and visitors

(SUNRIVER, Ore.) — Visit Central Oregon announced that 12 recipients will be awarded a total of $840,000 in grant money as part of the Central Oregon Future Fund, a new grant program to support local projects that will benefit both residents and visitors. Visit Central Oregon selected the 12 recipients from 43 applications requesting more than $4 million in funding.

The recipients represent a wide range of projects — from a program to enhance outdoor recreation opportunities for people with disabilities to Tower Theatre sound improvements to a myriad of trail projects spread throughout Central Oregon. Each has at least one thing in common: every project awarded a Central Oregon Future Fund grant placed an emphasis on sustainable tourism in line with the Fund’s pillars of promoting accessible adventure, cultural tourism, and stewardship. The 43 applications included 13 access adventure projects, 22 cultural tourism projects, and eight stewardship projects.

“Each of these projects will provide a lasting benefit to the region and enhance the enjoyment of Central Oregon for those of us who live here, as well as those who visit,” said Julia Theisen, CEO of Visit Central Oregon. “Our goal is to support programs that will help make Central Oregon a better place to live as well as a more attractive place to visit. And as each of these grant recipients prove, these interests do not necessarily have to compete with one another.”

Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District, Got Stars Central Oregon ($95,000): The Oregon Chapter of the International Dark-Sky Assoc., Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District, Prineville Reservoir State Park, COCC - Oregon Astronomy and Rocketry, Pollinator Pathway Bend, Sunriver Nature Center and Observatory, High Desert Museum, Worthy Environmental, and Pine Mountain Observatory, are collaborating on a community-wide initiative to showcase the importance and solutions related to dark skies and astro-tourism through outreach, education, and signage and lighting improvements.

To learn more about the Central Oregon Future Fund and this year’s grant recipients, visit