Project Looks for a Home
Our first VSHA public educational project in science is about to take shape as an outdoor interpretive trail that features the chronological history of life on earth. We will synthesize the story, entitled A Walk through Time, through the expert lenses of geology, paleontology, biology and astrophysics found among our project planners.
We are currently looking for a home for this project at a suitable location within the greater Victoria area.
A timeline stretching from 580 million years ago to present day will equate geological time with the distances covered on a trail. Numbered markers along the trail will signal the end and beginning of each major epoch, period, or era, and the relative duration of each age will be represented by the proportional distance to the next. Thus the hiking effort to the variable distances within those ages will help the visitor gauge the time involved during which geological and evolutionary changes arose.
Instead of the often-used, intrusive trail signage with lengthy descriptions, we propose the use of electronic internet-connected devices, e.g., smart phones and portable computers to minimize changes in the habitats along the trail. These devices will be tuned into a readily available information package located on the project’s web site. It will present much of recent information about past colossal forces at work on the earth’s surface that will likely stagger our imaginations.
Focus will be placed on the fossil records of ancient life as well as the evidences for the waxing and waning of life forms through the ages. The listed highlights for each age will be bolstered by links to detailed descriptions of processes involved and lists of emerging and disappearing groups of plants and animals. This will promote pursuit of published information beyond the web site at home, libraries, schools or wherever it leads. Resident plants and animals will get adequate emphasis in these historic listings. Displays of fossil material to which photographic coverage could be extended to other collections at local schools or to the Royal BC Museum in Victoria.
It is our belief that our multi-disciplinary, and science-based presentation will allow for a thorough and enjoyable educational experience that has seldom been seen. The information connected to the story can and will be kept current as new information is brought out by new scientific discovery. Development of a variety of learning activities around this project’s messages for different age groups will also add greatly to the enjoyment of the trail. It will be developed by participating educators throughout the Greater Victoria area and carried out through the guidance of interpreters and volunteers at the sanctuary. We are confident that the project will become a lasting educational legacy for the residents and visitors Victoria and Vancouver Island.