One year ago the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation was contemplating the concept of a dinosaur theme camp for kids and wondering how to get the dinosaur remains, embedded in 93-million-year-old rock, out of a canyon and safely relocated to Tumbler Ridge.
The onset of 2004 brings a whole new vision. How will the Dino Camp program be expanded to accommodate the demand? What else will we find when we venture once more into the canyon, following 2003?s successful excavation of more than fifty dinosaur bones and various fossil specimens from the late Cretaceous period? And what role will the newly established Palaeontology research centre play in Tumbler Ridge?s future?
The financial contributions from various organizations and the support of communities within the Peace Region made it possible to not only meet deadlines and project budgets but to develop and implement initiatives that will make a real difference to this community.
The support of the Mayor and Councilors of the District of Tumbler Ridge is again acknowledged, for without Council?s endorsement the excavation, creation of exhibits, and research centre would not have been possible. One year ago, Council decided to allocate $50,000 for a consultant to complete a strategic plan, feasibility study and business plan for the museum facility in Tumbler Ridge. At the same time, from the Economic Development capital budget, $12,000 was approved for use by the TRMF in the creation of several museum exhibits.
As the summer of 2003 progressed donations came in and new priorities became apparent, necessitating a juggling of funds between accounts. In the end, of the $62,000 allocated by the District only $50,000 was spent. $10,000 of the consulting funds was reallocated for equipment for the excavation. Generous donations by Quintette and Bullmoose Operating Corporations in the form of oak and glass cabinets resulted in a savings of almost $10,000 in the exhibit account. The dinosaur remains recovered from the canyon needed a safe storage facility, and an agreement was made to lease space in the TR mini mall. $5000 from the unused exhibit fund was reallocated to cover rent of this building for the remainder of 2003.
And what did the taxpayer get in return for this investment?
BC?s first dinosaur remains.
A role in Tumbler Ridge?s 520% increase in tourism.
Museum exhibits available for public enjoyment.
Opportunities for educational programs, increased public awareness and the first palaeontology research station in the province.
National and international exposure – thanks to Discovery Channel – and media coverage that money can?t buy.
Tumbler Ridge is being talked about in a positive way and people want to know how they can help this community continue to thrive.
Diversification of our economy and the prospect of significant job creation.
The TRMF applauds the people who have actively contributed to this end. In addition to the District of Tumbler Ridge, we acknowledge with appreciation the in-kind contributions from Chetwynd Forest Industries ($10,000) Northern Lights College, 4-Way Equipment, House of Tools, Quintette and Bullmoose Operating Corps, LaPrairie Crane and architectural designer Helen Vokaty. Grants and donations were received from the Royal BC Museum?s ?Living Landscapes? program ($11,000) SciTech North ($7000) Duke Energy ($5000) HRDC ($2800) Dr. Charles Helm ($3000) CNRL ($2000) both Dawson Creek Rotary clubs ($1500) BC Mining Assocation?s Education department ($500) Eagle Geophysical ($500) the TR Saddle Club ($500) Lynda Halpin ($200) and Waberski Darrow ($150).
Special thanks go to the Royal Tyrrell Museum and Exploration Place, and to the University of Alberta for sending us scientist Richard McCrea, whose professional presence in Tumbler Ridge opens new opportunities in the area of science education and research.
The TRMF anticipates an exciting year of discoveries and expansion and encourages new members to join us. Log on to www.tumblerridgemuseum.com for contact information.