Dinosaur Journey Gets a Spring Cleaning

cleaningIt’s that time of year again, time to sweep out exhibits and scrub down the dinosaurs – it’s the I Dinos Spring Cleaning Event at Dinosaur Journey. On Monday, February 22nd, twenty museum staff, volunteers, interns, and board members rolled up their sleeves and helped clean the Dinosaur Journey exhibit hall. We are very grateful to have such a strong showing at the clean up; it’s a big museum and we certainly could not have done it without everyone. Clean up began slowly at 8 am, but hit full steam by 10.

The fleshed out dinosaurs and robots were washed and scrubbed with rags/brushes in a gentle cleaning solution. It sometimes took two or three people to get the larger dinos, like Utahraptor and Dilophosaurus, cleaned up. Some of the crew were amazed to watch our large dinosaurs change colors as the dust and grime of daily use and an active fossil prep lab (which generates a lot of dust!) was removed. The skulls and skeletons on display are very fragile, and were given a light dusting with feather dusters – they changed color, too, during cleaning from beigey grey to a black grey. Even the glass eyes of our robots and reconstructions were hand polished with cleaner before the end of the day.

Cleaning the plants in the exhibits took a major effort with 4-5 people working diligently to keep each group of plants coordinated with its exhibit. You may wonder “what is the difference?” But the plants in the Cretaceous Period and in the Jurassic were different types, and, to keep our exhibits both beautiful and accurate, it takes a careful plan – even when cleaning. The plants were taken into the prep lab and washed in the sink to remove a layer of dust. The larger trees were hand wiped with wet rags.

It took three shop vacuums, with looooong extensions to reach all of the dust bunnies in high places, both in the exhibit hall and in the prep lab. You would think Dinosaur Journey would at least have dust dinos, right? Nope. But don’t worry. We evicted the bunnies.

All in all, it took the twenty of us about five and a half hours to finish the job, but it was well worth the effort. The exhibit hall looks amazing and we hope you will have a chance to come in and see it. It’s not every day we brush the dinosaurs’ teeth! Come see them smile!

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