Children of the World

The sculpture, named ‘Wisdom Begins With Wonder’, is the 20’ Charles Park’s Studio outdoor exhibit in front of DASEF Innovation Technology Exploration Center (ITEC).

The exhibit features five children of different nationalities standing on top of a bronze globe reaching for the stars. The globe, and the children are surrounded by interlocking rings, positioned in electron orbits, and displays the continents, oceans and sixteen endangered species.

The sculpture was originally envisioned and designed by Charles Parks and Dr. Stephanie Wright. The project was then handed over, constructed and realized by Parks’ protege, Brad Vanneman.


Galaxy Garden

The Galaxy Garden is a representation of the Milky Way Galaxy beheld through the vision of flowering plants and shrubs.  The Garden will serve as a viable method of teaching students, families, and the public, their relationship to the vast and ancient galaxy of which they are a part. From basic astronomy to topics in advanced astrophysics, the Galaxy Garden conveys concepts in a kinesthetic and perceptual manner unlike any standard method of teaching this science. 

DASEF’s Galaxy Garden is a scale model (1000 light years per foot) of the Milky Way, which is mapped with indigenous, pollinator, living plants and flowers based on current astrophysical data.  Altogether, there are seven different plant species growing in our garden, all contributing their beauty to the fantastic display of galactic color.  Each species represents different aspects and portions of the Milky Way. 

The first Galaxy Garden was imagined and developed by Jon Lomberg, a long standing advocate of astronomical endeavors.  Since Jon’s opened to the public on October 21, 2007, several more have sprung up around the world, including DASEF’s.

The garden is open for public viewing during regular park hours.

Plant Species in DASEF’s Galaxy:

For more information about each Galaxy Garden:


Mountjoy Observatory

DASEF’S Mountjoy Observatory saw its first light in the summer of 2007 and contains the second largest telescope in Delaware. The Observatory is attached to the Environmental Outpost and houses a 16” Meade Telescope and 3 Orion Newtonians. With the combined power of these lenses, we’ve viewed some pretty awesome astronomical sights! The telescopes are managed and operated by our resident intermediate astronomer and will soon be capable of remote operation.

Housing the telescope is a 16’ ASH-DOME, a steel hemisphere formed by a number of interlocking segments, providing an exceptionally strong roof structure. The ASH-DOME is fabricated from the finest materials and products available in order to provide stability in withstanding severe weather conditions. The up-and-over style shutter system allows the astronomer to view any portion of the sky through a protected viewing aperture, while keeping any potential wind turbulence to a minimum during observatory operation.

The telescope is available for viewing during some community events, for certain educational programs, and our monthly Eyes On the Skies.


Planetary Walk

Want to take a walk that is out of this world?  Guests can explore our Scaled Planetary Walk by themselves or take a guided tour beginning next to the picnic area behind the Environmental Outpost.  Spanning the length of our campus, the walk features finely crafted stones designed by David Myers, which represent the Sun and each planet in our Solar System.  Each granite stone is placed proportionally from the next planet in a scale of 1 foot equals 2.333 million miles.


Weather Station

The Delaware Environmental Observing Systems (DEOS), a department of the University of Delaware, installed and maintains a weather station on the DASEF campus, near the Environmental Outpost. This station is part of a network of stations that monitor the local region’s weather.

The link below will open a tab to the DEOS website. On the right side of the screen is a drop down menu. Select Smyrna, DE for the weather station on our campus – this way, you know the weather report is exact to our location!



The WonderDish is an imaginative site furnishing, positioned near the Environmental Outpost, that includes an interactive sound feature, which is sometimes referred to as a whisper dish. The geometric properties of the parabolic reflector enable sounds to be transmitted and received without need for power or electricity. Comfortable bench seating, accompanied by a six foot parabolic dish are integrated into a sleek, sculptural form. Guests sitting properly will hear each other normally with quiet voices, from a distance of 200’.