19 April 2010

Stonehammer Project Awarded International Site Visit


“The initiative to establish a Global Geopark, supported by UNESCO, in southern New Brunswick has taken a major step forward”, announced Bill Merrifield, Chair of the Stonehammer Working Committee. “At the International Geoparks Conference in Malaysia last week, we were informed that the Stonehammer Project has successfully passed the first phase of the application process and has been awarded an International Site Visit assessment.”

Two representatives of the international organization, Dr. Patrick McKeever, Principal Geologist of the Geological survey of Northern Ireland, and Claudia Eckhardt, Regional Development Officer for the Bergstrasse Odenwald Global Geopark in Germany, will be visiting the region in late August to review the proposed Stonehammer Geopark. They will be evaluating the Project, and its ability to meet the Global Geoparks Network’s mandate of conservation, education, and sustainable development of the geological heritage of the region.

The proposed Stonehammer Geopark Project incorporates more than 60 significant geological and fossil locales, including more than 10 publicly accessible sites.  The Stonehammer Project is a community-supported organization comprised of site owners, tourism operators, members of the community and other stakeholders.  With the support of the New Brunswick Regional Development Commission, 5 members of the Committee travelled to Malaysia to represent the Stonehammer Project and Canada at the 4th International Conference of Global Geoparks in Langkawi.  The 5 members were:

Bill Merrifield, Chair, Stonehammer Working Committee
Jane Fullerton, CEO, New Brunswick Museum
Charlie Swanton, Chair, Saint John Waterfront Development
Gail Bremner, Tourism representative
Dr. Godfrey Nowlan, Chair, Canadian National Committee for Geoparks 

As members of the committee, on their own initiative, community representatives Dawn Merrifield and Joan Pearce also joined the delegation.

In addition to meetings with the International Committee, the group formally presented the Stonehammer Project to the delegates and learned best practices from other members of the Global Geoparks Network.  “We are very pleased that out of 15 international applications submitted in December 2009, the Stonehammer Project has been awarded one of the 3 site visits scheduled for 2010, keeping it on track to become the first Global Geopark in North America.” said Jane Fullerton, CEO of the New Brunswick Museum.  “We look forward to the opportunity to share the billion years of stories of the Stonehammer Project with the evaluators this summer.” 

For further information:

Jane Fullerton, CEO, New Brunswick Museum
506-643-2351 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photo of committee available upon request.