Dunes and water

About Us

The Natural History Museum at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) is a depository for natural history specimens collected primarily from northwest Pennsylvania with a special emphasis placed on specimens from Presque Isle State Park. The collections include plants, fossils, mollusks, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The collections are housed in two rooms in the basement of TREC. One room houses dry-mounted specimens (mostly insects, plants and freeze-dried vertebrates), and the other houses specimens preserved in alcohol (insects, fish, amphibians, and reptiles). These collections provide a resource for scientific studies of the ecology of the region, and are available for use by qualified researchers. Valuable voucher specimens are contained that form a permanent record of the biodiversity of the area, which will inform decisions on conservation and land use in the years to come. Many of the specimens are dedicated for use in educational programs at Presque Isle State Park and are available for loan to area educators. The collections are not open to the public, but tours are available by appointment. Staff frequently schedules tours during special events at TREC. Pennsylvania Sea Grant, Presque Isle State Park (DCNR), and the Regional Science Consortium support the collections. The collections are staffed primarily by volunteers.