The Natural History Museum at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center was established in 2006 to increase the availability of specimens in the study of biodiversity and natural history in northwestern Pennsylvania, particularly in the Presque Isle State Park complex. Due to the presence of habitats that are unique within Pennsylvania, Presque Isle is home to many species that are rare or unusual in the state, including many Endangered and Threatened species. The park continuously undergoes change due to heavy human use, ecological succession, the effects of weather events, climate change and the introduction of non-native species. Monitoring the presence of species on the park is critical to conserving species and habitats in the face of these changes.
The Annual Report reflects new species added and offers a listing of all species in the collection as well as information about activities, public education activities, and more. The collection is supported by Pennsylvania Sea Grant, The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, and many volunteers.