CANNON BEACH — Visitors here might soon be forgetting about looking for sand dollars, driftwood or seaweed during their beach outings. They’ll be too distracted by the dinosaurs.
That’s the hope of Steve Hudgik, pastor of Cannon Beach Bible Church, who in 2018 hopes to open the Dinosaur Tracker Field Station, a creation museum, at the church.
Hudgik, who last year moved from Tualatin to become the church’s pastor, also heads up a mnistry called Move to Assurance (mtainfo.com). The ministry recently received a donation from Crowley’s Granite Concepts in Tualatin for the purchase of computer hardware for the museum.
According to Hudgik, the museum will include interactive exhibits of real dinosaur tracks and fossils, as well as educational exhibits, videos, and a kids’ dinosaur craft and art area where children —and adults — can create art involving dinosaurs. Classes and conferences are also planned to be a part of the field station.
“It will be a unique experience that combines museum-quality displays, interactivity with smart phones, hands-on activities, and an engaging story so that visitors will have fun while learning about dinosaurs and the history of the world,” he said.
Hudgik has been collecting and displaying dinosaur tracks for more than a decade. Most of the dinosaur tracks come from Massachusetts and are real, not reproductions, Hudgik emphasized.
Before moving to Cannon Beach, Hudgik used dinosaur tracks as a part of a booth he and his wife set up at more than 30 street fairs and festivals each year. Over the years his collection has grown beyond dinosaur tracks to include a wide range of fossils from New England, Arizona, Wyoming, North Dakota, and even quite a few from Oregon.
“Except for a few additional dinosaur tracks, all of the fossils for the field station are in storage. The displays and mountings for the tracks are now being built. And the final dinosaur tracks are arriving this summer. These new tracks will not be highlighted, leaving them in their natural condition.
The unmarked tracks will be available so visitors to the field station can test themselves to see if they really could track a dinosaur.
A lot of work and fundraising still needs to be done, including maintenance work on the church building. Hudgik said.
“There has been little maintenance done in the past 15 years, so we have quite a few building issues to address. This summer we plan to refurbish the outside of the building by replacing the siding and painting the windows and doors. We hope to do most of the interior maintenance work in 2017.”
While the work on the building progresses, the field station displays, computer systems, and programming will also be completed.
Information on the project will soon be available online at www.DinoTracker.org
Hudgik can be contacted at 503-208-5774 or cbBibleChurch@gmail.com