CANNON BEACH — Exhibits can already be seen in the lobby of Cannon Beach Bible Church as they are built, but the church is on track by fall 2018 to host inside its building a full museum on dinosaurs.
The museum, to be known as the Cannon Beach Dinosaur Tracker Field Station, will feature dinosaur tracks and other fossils visitors will be able to touch and learn about.
“I don’t like putting exhibits behind glass,” said Steve Hudgik, the church’s pastor and curator of the planned museum. “As much as allowed by security concerns and the need to protect fossils from damage, we’ll have fossils available for people to touch and learn how they feel. For example, it is easier to feel the pads on a dinosaur’s fossil footprint than it is to see them.”
Theme of the Dinosaur Tracker Field Station is dinosaur tracks — the fossil footprints dinosaurs left behind — and learning how to “read” the tracks to learn about the creatures who made them. For example, said Hudgik, a fossil footprint reveals how big the dinosaur was, what type of dinosaur it was, and whether it was a vegetarian or carnivore. However, the museum also will feature numerous other fossils, such as dinosaur coporlite (dino droppings), dinosaur eggs and nests, marine fossils from Oregon, concretions, and various plant fossils. “Visitors will not only see and touch fossils, they will learn some of the clues that help us understand what happened to the dinosaurs and how dinosaurs fit with the Bible,” said Hudgik.
The museum is initially planned to have 12 learning stations, each with at least two video displays. In addition to the video displays, visitors will be able to use their phones to access additional detailed information. The long-term plan, scheduled for the second phase of the museum, is to have an interactive individualized experience allowing visitors to follow a learning path that best suits their interests.
As each learning station is constructed it will be available in the lobby of the church on Sunday mornings (visit website for times). Hudgik said this gives people a chance to preview the exhibits, while at the same time the museum staff can improve the exhibits using the feedback from visitors.
Plans also call for the museum to show paintings by local artists. A Cannon Beach artist has already volunteered to donate a large mural. The museum is looking for other local artists willing to loan or donate paintings that compliment the theme.
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