We are fortunate to have facilities right here that many people elsewhere have to travel to experience. Dinosaurs bones, a facility to exhibit them, tours, camps, two excellent palaeontologists, and a group of people who saw the potential of the fossil discoveries and worked incredibly hard to make their dream a reality.
The Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation established the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre (P.R.P.R.C.), to house the dinosaur bones and other fossils found in the Tumbler Ridge area. With hard work and more construction to continue the PRPRC has opened their ?Dinosaur Discovery Gallery? in what was the old Claude Galibois school.
The public can view the exhibits and see the fossils of vertebrate dinosaur, and plants, listen to the interactive displays, watch videos of the actual digs and other information in the newly constructed theatre.
Exhibits on display in the Gallery is the largest in the Peace region, and in the province of British Columbia. Our gallery contains more vertebrate dinosaur fossils than British Columbia?s provincial musum, the Royal BC Museum
In previous years any vertebrate dinosaur discoveries were shipped out of province to other museums as BC did not have the expertise or place to house the exhibits. With the development of the PRPRC we are able to keep BC?s discoveries in BC.
Once you have checked out the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery take part in one of the guided tours being offered. The Dinosaur Trackway Tours offer three very different experiences. The Wolverine Tour is approximately one hour long. The Wolverine Lantern Tour begins at dusk. The Cabin Pool Tour is about two hours long.
The tours may be booked for 11:00 am, 2:00 pm and 10:00 pm, seven days a week during July and August. Family and group rates are available. For more detailed information, prices and booking please check out the website at www.trmf.ca or phone (250) 242-DINO.
Do you have family coming to Tumbler Ridge for a visit? The tours are a perfect opportunity to show off the beauty and discoveries of Tumbler Ridge with guides that are extremely knowledgeable. I know I have taken family down to one of the trackways only to be asked some really good questions, which I had not a clue how to answer? take the tours.
Speaking with Rich McCrea, Palaeontologist, and Director and of the PRPRC, the plan for future tours will incorporate information about our local birds, and plants, and will include some of the history of Tumbler Ridge.
Other educational and fun programs for the public to participate in are the Camps being offered. The Dinosaur Camp offers introductory Raptor camps for first time registrants.
A number of one day Family Day Camps will allow short term visitors a chance to sample some of the fun and educational activities.
Two day Family Mini Camps are also offered providing an excellent opportunity to get that quality family time in.
The Northern Wilderness Camps are a new series of camps which will focus on the different eco-zones within the Peace Region. This year programs include the Eagle Camp, which will focus on alpine biology and the ecology.
The Osprey Camp will help the attendees build an appreciation for the biology and the ecology of lakes, river and streams.
The absolute best part, these camps are FREE for this season, due to the generosity of this year?s sponsors and fundraising efforts. What is the catch, why are they free, you may be asking? PRPRC and the TRMF realize the importance of these programs and want to give the opportunity to everyone to enjoy them. Perhaps they will develop future palaeontologists, and potential volunteers, one never knows. For detailed information please contact (250) 242-DINO.
A very special thank you to the educational program sponsors, Peace River Coal, Western Canadian Coal, Aerolis Wind, Talisman, LP Building Products, Sharp Environmental, Canadian Natural, Michael William Skrepnick, and Scouten & Associates Engineering Ltd.
The Peace Region Paleontology Research Centre is so much more than displays and camps. There is a whole other world that exists, the part which is earning international credibility and recognition for Tumbler Ridge.
What goes on in the background and how our paleontologists and the Tumbler Ridge area contribute to discoveries, research information, and scientific papers internationally, is amazing. This August, Rich McCrea is speaking in Calgary at the ?International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences Conference?. The demographics of this conference will include representatives from a wide range of industry and science from around the world.
Between Rich McCrea and Lisa Buckley the amount of publications they have contributed to or papers written by themselves is enormous. Our local palaeontologists research papers are essential information shared internationally. The technique to remove the lichen material from a sample without having to scrap it off and perhaps damage prints on the surface is one such example. Our palaeontologists discovered a non-evasive way to remove the lichen by means of chemicals to reveal the potential fossils covered by the lichen (fungus). This exciting discovery will be published internationally and help other paleontologist, geologists, and archeologists to remove the lichen without damaging the specimens.
McCrea is one of the few experts on bird prints or ?Tracks of Small Ornithischians?, in the world, and has been asked to collaborate on a variety of research papers that have been published worldwide. Lisa?s last paper involved meat eating dinosaur teeth and what changes occur as the dinosaur ages, and how this information can be applied to identify isolated teeth. The PRPRC?s research also contributes to research of our environmental and climate history, which helps scientist today identify key factors that allows them to more accurately define our past climate, the effects and how they relate today?s climate changes.
Tumbler Ridge is now an important part of the palaeontology international community. Not only does this bring diversity to our town, it also brings stability. With each small step the Museum will bring more positive attention. This will lead to tourists, an expanded research centre, and of course more jobs and prosperity for us.
In Tumbler Ridge, thanks to the Peace Region Palaeontology and the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation, we have a unique opportunity. We can jump off the couch, put on our Indiana Jones hat (I have one in my closet) and be a part of this exciting new adventure rather than watching the National Geographic channel and dreaming of somehow being involved in one of those amazing discoveries..