Nova Scotia has a long and fascinating geological history, spanning more than 1,000,000,000 years. The rocks that form the character of the landscape are ancient parts of North America, Europe, and North Africa brought together by major events in the Earth’s history. Within Nova Scotia, the Upper Bay of Fundy region is especially rich in geological features. In a small geographic area many ancient environments are both well preserved and exposed for easy viewing.
The Parrsboro region has been known for its Amethyst, agate, zeolites, and plant and animal fossils for many years. The discovery in 1984 of the early Jurassic crocodile, mammal-like reptile, and dinosaur fossils at nearby Wasson Bluff encouraged the local community to examine the economic potential of these natural resources. The Cumberland Geological Society was formed in 1989 to promote the development of a Museum of Geology and Palaeontology. The Fundy Geological Museum was officially opened to the public in December of 1993 as a locally managed branch of the Nova Scotia Museum.
The geological history of Nova Scotia – specifically the stories told by the cliffs along our shores – can be used to interpret the development of the Bay of Fundy over the past 400 million years. The phenomena related to this natural wonder continue to play a daily role in each of our lives and draw visitors from around the world.
The Museum serves its community as both an educational institution and as a key tourist destination. The Museum provides visitors with a focal point to learn about the region’s palaeontological and mineralogical treasures of the region. The site has been identified as a “Recommended Experience” by the Bay of Fundy Tourism Partnership and is an integral part of the Fundy Shore Tourist Destination Area. The site helps to attract over 22,000 visitors to Parrsboro each year.
While the Museum houses a collection of rocks, minerals, and fossils, the exhibits and programs interpret the geological and palaeontological features along the Bay of Fundy. It offers a variety of services including school and public programs, beach tours, and hands on activities. Tour packages have been developed to combine museum programming, accommodations, meals and activities in partnership with other local attractions and services.
Fundy Geological Museum Mission Statement
To be the World Centre for experiencing geological history interpreted from the unique features of Nova Scotia’s Fundy Region.
Impact of Natural Heritage on Cultural Heritage
Rocks, minerals, and fossils tell a fascinating story of colliding continents, changing climates, and ancient environments. They also provide a glimpse into the lives of the region’s former inhabitants. The tides, the landscapes shaped by glaciers, the diversity of fossils and minerals, and geological time periods exposed along our shores have all contributed to the environment that we interact with daily. The natural environment is a backdrop for oral histories, entertainment, relaxation, spiritual contemplation, hobbies, physical activities, and has given us the basic necessities of life and the inspiration for works of art. Our natural heritage has helped to shape the development of successive cultures, resulting in the cultural heritage we share today.