The Museums of Western Colorado have been awarded a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to make improvements to the collections facilities at Dinosaur Journey and Museum of the West.
The Museums of Western Colorado is one of only a few institutions in Colorado designated as a Federal Repository for anthropological and paleontological resources recovered from BLM administered land.
This grant will provide additional shelving and security for the BLM anthropological collections housed at the Museum of the West. At Dinosaur Journey, the grant will fund the remodeling of underutilized space into much needed additional paleontological collections space. This will include room for eight additional specimen cabinets along with up to four oversized shelving units and a new workstation.
“The paleontology collections have been full for a few years now and this new space will be a welcome relief for our current overflow problem,” said Curator of Paleontology, Dr. Julia McHugh.
Additionally, this grant will facilitate the digitization of field records and the cataloging of collections to provide greater online access to researchers and the public.
As more work is done on public lands, this grant will help ensure the Museums of Western Colorado will be able accommodate and protect new material and make it available to future researchers, curators and members of the public.
The Museums of Western Colorado will use matching funds from a new reduced lease with their partner, the City of Fruita, to complete the expansion project. The new lease was approved at the April meeting of the Fruita City Council.
According to McHugh, this grant is only the beginning of Dinosaur Journey’s growth process. “We really need a full expansion of the museum, but that is a ways off at this point,” said McHugh.