09/25/2014 10:37 EDT | Updated 11/25/2014 05:59 EST

Tumbler Ridge, B.C., becomes second in North America to receive Geopark status

TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. - The District of Tumbler Ridge in northeastern British Columbia has become North America’s second UNESCO Geopark.

The designation was granted earlier this week at the sixth international UNESCO Conference on Global Geoparks held in Saint John, N.B.

A Geopark is an area with geological significance and conservation, education and sustainable economic development programs, and Tumbler Ridge now joins roughly 100 such sites around the world that are overseen by UNESCO.

The Tumbler Ridge Geopark spans nearly 8,000 square kilometres and will showcase attractions such as dinosaur tracks, mountain trails, canyon falls and wetlands.

Barry Elliott, the chief administrative officer with the District of Tumbler Ridge, says the Geopark designation will have far reaching benefits for the district's tourism industry, museum, paleontology research and business owners.

The only other Geopark in North America is Stonehammer Geopark in southern New Brunswick.(Moose FM, CKPG)