Grants help Coyote Canyon Mammoth Dig Site uncover clues from thousands of years ago

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Using a grant from a local organization, the Coyote Canyon Mammoth Dig Site aims to complete the skeleton of a mammoth that may have originated in the Tri-Cities region.

The Mid-Columbia Basin Old Natural Education Sciences (MCBONES) Research Center Foundation was founded in 2008. The non-profit is working to recover the mammoth skeleton and educate the public on all of their findings.

This year, MCBONES was awarded several grants to help improve their facilities and complete this operation. On Saturday, MCBONES was presented with a check for $2,957.40 from the Three Rivers Community Foundation (3RCF).

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“We were really excited to support MCBONES and the Mammoth Dig project here,” said Abbey Cameron, Executive Director for 3RCF.

MCBONES will put thins funding toward its 3D bone printing program, building an additional storage shed, and the purchase of a microscopy camera to photograph microscopic findings.

Earlier in the year, MCBONES received another grant from Battelle. That grant money is being used to bring Wi-Fi access to the canyon.

In 2019, MCBONES welcomed over 3,000 local students for tours and field trips, but the pandemic changed that.

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“We’re trying to adjust to the COVID situation,” said MCBONES Education Director Gary Kleinknecht.

Having Wi-Fi access in the canyon means they can now offer virtual field trips.

“I hope that things get back to normal enough to where the kids can come out here, but now we can take the field trip to their classroom,” Kleinknecht said. “The cool part about it is that means we’re not limited just to the Tri-Cities area. We can go much further.”

MCBONES is currently closed for the winter but is expected to open for tours in the Spring of 2022. Tour information can be found here.

The site is also looking for volunteers, who work with their dedicated team year-round. If you are interested in volunteering with MCBONES, click here.

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