The Natural History Museum at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center had another successful year in 2016. The facility, which is housed in two rooms in the TREC, contains nearly 9,000 specimens of plants and animals from northwestern Pennsylvania, with a special emphasis on the flora and fauna of Presque Isle and Erie Bluffs State Parks.
Two hundred twenty-seven new collection objects were added to the Museum's collections in 2016, including several that document the occurrence of rare and endangered species, as well as additions to the teaching collections that are used for educational programs for the general public and classes for students from grade school through college.
Field surveys of beetles and spiders at Erie Bluffs, moths and butterflies at Presque Isle and fishes in Cussewago Creek in Crawford County continued. The Museum also continued to coordinate the Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey for northwestern Pennsylvania and served as a source of data on the region's natural diversity for state agencies, academia, and conservation organizations. The Museum produced educational materials for loan, and participated in science and conservation-oriented events at the TREC, including the Festival of the Birds, National Pollinator Week, and the Regional Science Symposium.