Friends of Dinosaur Ridge Renames Building the Martin G. Lockley Discovery Center

Martin Lockley's children pull a cover off a new sign on the front of the newly renamed Martin G. Lockley Discovery Center building.

[GOLDEN, CO, March 17, 2024] – On what would’ve been his 74th birthday, the late paleontologist Martin Lockley had a building owned by the nonprofit he co-founded named in his honor. Last November 25, the world renowned dinosaur trace fossil researcher and longtime University of Colorado Denver professor passed away from cancer. Friends of Dinosaur Ridge co-hosted a renaming ceremony and memorial with his family to dedicate the building located just inside Entrance 1 to Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre to keeping awareness of his life’s work publicly visible.

The Martin G. Lockley Discovery Center will house a rotating display of personal items Lockley collected and created during his more than 40 years as a working paleontologist and world traveler. Efforts will soon begin to raise funds for building improvements. The two-story structure which was constructed in 1961 for a Jehovah’s Witness congregation and later served as a Sikh temple has had very little remodeling since the 1990s. The nonprofit organization Friends of Dinosaur Ridge purchased the building in 2013 as a secondary location for its operations.

Dr. Lockley’s accomplishments are lengthy and will be celebrated in a soon-to-be published compilation being put together by a group of colleagues who co-authored scientific papers and participated in many research projects with Lockley going back to the early 1980s. 

At the time of his death, Dr. Lockley was a Professor Emeritus at University of Colorado Denver where he taught geology and many other courses between 1980 and 2010. In December 2020 Lockley received the Presidential Award for his distinguished achievement on Dinosaur Track Research in South Korea. This was a first for a paleontologist in that country’s history.

Growing up in Wales (born on St. Patrick’s Day 1950), Lockley was influenced by his father the renowned ornithologist and prolific author Ronald Lockley. Martin Lockley was a star athlete twice winning the All England Schools championship in shot put. He never became an American citizen, but chose to live in the Colorado foothills in a country home he filled with souvenirs from a lifetime of world travels. As the new building is remodeled to better accommodate exhibits and events, the family will work with FODR to curate items for public display.

About Friends of Dinosaur Ridge
Founded in 1989 to oversee preservation of the natural historic site known as Dinosaur Ridge, and to provide educational programming, the nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization Friends of Dinosaur Ridge exists to manage a seasonally fluctuating paid staff and volunteer pool that serves thousands of visitors annually. In 1937, during the construction of West Alameda Parkway, dinosaur tracks were discovered in the 100-million-year-old rocks on the hogback east of Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. In 1973 the National Park Service recognized Dinosaur Ridge for its uniqueness as well as its historical and scientific significance, designating the Morrison Fossil Area National Natural Landmark, now ranked by paleontologists as the #1 dinosaur tracksite in America. Learn more at and visit any day of the year except New Years, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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