Springing into the past

Dave Mathieson
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Joggins Fossil Centre opens for fifth season

11-year-old Josh Shier throws a kite he made into the air while his five-year-old brother DJ Shier and friend Ethan Sherriff, who is from Sackville, N.B., look on. Holding the kite string is Josh and DJ’s father Daryle Shier. Kite flying was part of the opening day festivities Sunday at the Joggins Fossil Centre. The Shier’s are from Sussex, N.B. It was the first time they had visited the fossil centre and they said they had a great time.

JOGGINS – The 2013 opening of the Joggins Fossil Centre brought with it not only opening day festivities but, also, freshly revealed fossils.

“This is a great time of year to visit the beach because there so many new things that are uncovered from the winter,” said Melissa Grey, Curator of Palaeontology at the Joggins Fossil Centre.

People attending the opening day festivities on Sunday were treated to a barbecue, face painting, kite making, kite flying, and a beach excursion.

“We had about 35 people on the beach excursion,” said Grey.

“When people come to the beach they’re always amazed that anybody can find a fossil. You don’t have to be a palaeontologist or have to be trained to find something,” she added. “Sometimes you might be the first person who ever laid an eye on that fossil in 300 million years, so it’s exciting for young and old and everyone in between.”

Many people in attendance were from Joggins and River Hebert but many were also from New Brunswick.

Daryle Shier was there with his wife and his two boys, 11-year-old Josh, and five-year-old DJ. They are from Sussex, N.B., and it was their first time visiting the fossil centre.

“I was surprised at how nice it is here,” said Shier. “It’s a really nice spot, and really interesting.”

Grey said most newcomers she spoke to say they had a good experience and will visit again in the summer.

“For people who have been here before, you can come here again and again and always see something new,” said Grey.

The Fossil Centre celebrated Earth Day on Monday by picking up garbage along Highway 242 with River Hebert Elementary School students.

“The kids were excellent,” said Grey.

Next up is the Champagne Mother’s Day Brunch on May 12.

This is the fifth anniversary of the opening of the fossil centre and they will have a ‘Walk and Talk’ every month.

“It’s an educational series where we’re bringing in people from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick from May through to September,” said Grey. “The first Walk and Talk will be May 18. Dr. Martin Gibling, who is a professor at Dalhousie, will be doing a beach walk. It’s free and we’d love to see lots of people out for the walks.”


Organizations: Joggins Fossil Centre, River Hebert Elementary School, Dalhousie

Geographic location: JOGGINS, New Brunswick, River Hebert Sussex Nova Scotia

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