New Additions to Astro Park

The Astro Park is regularly used for school events, such as the annual Astro Jam in May.

Photo by Jenny Griffin

The Astro Park is regularly used for school events, such as the annual Astro Jam in May.

Cate Harrington, Staff Writer

If you have ever wandered through the astro park in the past year, chances are you’ve noticed the detailed  head sculptures along the pathways. These busts have been one of the many projects BHS Astronomy teacher Michael Gyra has taken on to decorate what used to be just a big empty space. Gyra has been the main organizer behind the Astro Park for about 10 years now, rebuilding, decorating, and adding new features to transform the space into what is known to students and teachers as the scenic and educational park it is today.

“I love strolling through the Astro Park,” said junior Cassandra Kornhiser, “I always admire the incredible statues and landscaping in it.”

There have been six new busts that have been added to the pathways this year. The busts are sculptures of historical figures who have influenced this country and the world in a positive way.

“[The people] represent the diversity of our school,” said Gyra.

The six statues that have been added to the astro park this year include Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan (one bust), Galileo Galilei, Warren Buffett, Harvey Milk, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. The Warren Buffett and MLK statues have already arrived and are displayed in the Astro Park while the other four are scheduled to be installed  later this month.

The busts are made in China by an artist named Lo Bei. The money for each statue is donated by a wide variety of local business, groups, or individual people.

The Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan sculpture was  a gift from the Friends of the Old Schoolhouse in Barnstable village, while Harvey Milk was a gift from BHS Gay Straight Transgender Alliance and the Cobb Trust. Both Galileo and Warren Buffett were in memory of Jayne Summers from the John and Jayne Summers Foundation. Mahatma Gandhi was a gift from the class of 1963 and Martin Luther King Jr. was a gift from the Class of 1996 in memory of Mark Thayer.

According to Gyra, last week Senator Dan Wolf and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare Mike Lauf, put down a deposit for a George Washington bust minutes after Gyra had shown them the pathway. Gyra said that within the next few years the community can help him get six new statues for the Astro Park. Grya intends to expand the busts to leaders with Mexican, American, Brazilian American, Asian American, and  Native American backgrounds to help represent the diversity of BHS. He also hope to get a Malala Yousafzai statue as well.

While there are many plans yet to come from Gyra, students of BHS already know the Astro Park as a unique feature the school has to offer and a scenic place to walk through in between classes.

“The Astro Park is a great element to BHS because it has many cool features and I always enjoy walking through it,” said junior, Dylan Campbell.

The next event held in the Astro Park will be the Memorial dedications that will be held June 12 at 5:30pm.