Starting in May 2010 before the park opened, I worked on all things scientific and educational. I created signs for the forest ranging from decomposers to amphibians to, of course, dinosaurs. I made content for over 100 signs to be posted around the park, as well as edited material already made for signs and school programs. I was also responsible for training all of our guides, making sure they knew what they were talking about while walking through the trails. In July 2010 we opened to the public. It was an amazing feeling walking around and listening to what people were learning, and hearing the praise about this facility that I was so intimately involved in. We opened with a number of animatronic dinosaurs (about 40 if I recall), some more realistic than others, but most of them are somewhat life-size. It was pretty amazing. Jurassic Forest is set outside in a natural boreal forest, meaning the dinosaurs (and other creatures) are in a slightly more natural setting than in an indoor facility (although the plants aren't quite accurate). The creatures are set back from the paths in a non-frightening, more natural setting, like you may have seen millions of years ago. It's pretty cool.
|An Apatosaurus (and Stretch the ostrich) set back in the trees|
I really enjoy working for Jurassic Forest even though I'm in England now. It's a good chance to write about some things I'm really interested in that's not necessarily related to my thesis. It's also nice to be able to put my brain to use and talk about some things I've learned over the years! Anyone who is in the Edmonton region, I would definitely recommend a trip to Jurassic Forest, even if it's just for a walk in the park. It's pretty neat, and from what I've seen, much better than similar parks out there.