Destroying a sandbox isn’t usually the type of thing one would associate with a boy scout, and one would not expect that the owners would appreciate such a deed. But on Tuesday, the staff of the Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum were excited for Michael Clark to do just that.
Clark, museum staff, and 20 friends and family worked for hours on Tuesday to remove tons of dirt from the museum’s dinosaur pit in the Hall of Paleontology. The task was taken on as Clark’s Eagle Scout service project.
The 15-year-old Wellington Boy Scout has been interested in paleontology since he was a young boy, and being able to incorporate that interest into the project was a bonus. “I thought it was really cool,” he said. “When I was a little kid I had a fascination with dinosaurs, so it’s been really interesting.”
Clark contacted Paleontology Lab Manager John Bird several weeks ago inquiring whether the museum might have a project he could take on, and Bird was excited to provide him with one.
“It probably would have taken at least a week if the museum staff had to do this on our own,” Bird said. “This helps get it done a lot quicker.”
Bird said that in addition to making the new diorama possible, removing the dirt will make it much easier to keep the museum clean. But currently, patrons may notice a bit more dust than normal. “Even after all of the dirt is gone, it is going to be a big job to get all of the dust out. It will probably take all week,” Bird said.