Have a seat, become a geotourist

Gros Morne National Park encouraging appreciation of geology

Ashley Fitzpatrick afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com
Published on May 28, 2012

A red adirondack chair awaits weary visitors at the Geological Association of Canada and the Mineralogical Association of Canada, near the main entrance at the Delta Hotel in St. John's.

The bright red chair is part of a Parks Canada display at the ongoing joint annual meeting for the two organizations. It is placed in front of a poster showing similar red chairs in Gros Morne.

The poster encourages the viewer to: “See geology differently.”

Red, adirondack chairs are currently being placed by Parks Canada staff in locations throughout Gros Morne National Park.

Fred Sheppard with Parks Canada said six chair and table sets are out now in the park and about 20 sets are expected to be set out in total.

They are being positioned to highlight unique areas of the park — encouraging visitors to pause and take in the locations and consider the natural history behind them.

The geology of Gros Morne National Park is world-renowned and is one of the main reasons it was selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The chairs position visitors to consider highlights of that geology.

The idea of having the chairs in unique locations in the park first became a reality last year, Sheppard said, with a test run being conducted.

“Visitors love them. We get such positive comments from visitors,” he said, adding the chairs are Canadian-made and “very heavy.”

The idea was developed by park staff, under a visitor experience program aimed at developing ideas to maximize the impact of the park on visitors.

As part of the joint conference technical sessions this morning, a symposium on geoparks explored the potential connections between tourism and the geosciences.



The view for geologists and mineralogists sitting in the adirondack chair at the Geological Association of Canada and the Mineralogical Association of Canada conference in St. John’s. The text “See geology differently” can be seen just outside this frame. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram