Frequently Asked Questions

Is STARHENGE compatible with Buffalo Park?

Buffalo Park is a special place, with a special history. Originally developed as a “Wild West” themed park with elk and buffalo, “hold ups” and stage coaches, our ideas of what this park is and should be have evolved. When the city and ADOT proposed to put a highway through the park in 1985, the citizens responded with an initiative petition to assure that such disturbances not be brought to this serene place. The initiative, called “Proposition 200” on the March 1986 ballot and approved by the voters, assured that “The City of Flagstaff shall maintain Buffalo Park solely as a public park.”

This petition constitutes the “official word” of Flagstaff's citizens on the park today. Some claim that the voters have said that the park should not be changed in any way; some claim the voters have declared Buffalo Park off limits to any further uses beyond the running trail and exercise stations. Proposition 200 did not say this, and there have been no other votes on the issue.

The artists and the STARHENGE steering committee feel STARHENGE is entirely compatible with the use of Buffalo Park as a public park, that it would be a wonderful addition to this serene area and fit very well with the unique character of the park. It would provide a place for quiet reflection and observation of the open space of clear horizons and clear dark skies.

Will STARHENGE dominate Buffalo Park and block the views?

Standing within or near the stone circle, the stones will indeed be impressive and imposing. A 6 foot person will be dwarfed by the 23-foot 120 ton portal Stone and the 16-foot Trilithons.

Though STARHENGE will certainly be visible from many parts of the park, it will not obscure the beautiful views so valued in the park. For comparison, the Ponderosa pine trees in the park are often much taller than the largest stones of STARHENGE. The entire monument and earthwork would occupy 1.6 acres, condiderably less than 1% of the 217 acre park.

Will STARHENGE be a disturbance and an imposition on the open spaces of Buffalo Park?

Though the entire Double Spiral Earthwork, 300' in diameter, will initially disturb 1.6 acres of land, the vast majority (1.5 acres) will be revegetated with the assistance of skilled restoration ecologists. Only the central 72' diameter stone circle (just over 0.1 acre) and two access paths (less than 0.1 acre) will have a crushed stone surface to handle the heavy traffic and assure wheelchair access. For comparison, the running trail already in place in Buffalo Park has removed over two acres of natural vegetation.

The designers believe that STARHENGE fits naturally with the beauty, serenity and open spaces of Buffalo Park. Further, STARHENGE will enhance our community by offering opportunities to enjoy the vast open spaces of the night sky, and help protect the park by fostering a community commitment to protect the open space and dark skies upon which STARHENGE depends.

STARHENGE appears to lie right on the existing trail - is that intentional?

The location of STARHENGE is determined by the shape of the land, proximity of trees, visibility of the horizon, and minimum visibility of city lights. A small section of the existing trail would have to be re-routed as a part of the construction process, with the potential to increase the trail length slightly to the standard 5km. Separate new trails will provide foot and wheelchair access to STARHENGE.

Why isn't STARHENGE proposing to use native rock?

The designers, Steve and Chris, initially planned to seek native stone materials for STARHENGE. However, after much investigation including visiting many stone quarries in Arizona, they found that the needed combination of very large unfractured stone, the equipment to handle it, and the persons with the skill to cut and form it do not appear to exist in Arizona. Because of this, it is likely that the project will have to go out of state to find the needed materials. The largest stones will probably be made of quarried granite, with a color chosen to fit with the native rock and landscape of McMillan Mesa. It is possible columnar basalt will be used for many of the smaller stones (the Star Stones and Heel Stones). Though basalt is common in northern Arizona, unfractured stones with sufficient size will probably also have to come from out-of-state quarries.

Buffalo Park basalt boulder

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