Garden Journal

A family's discovery of sustainable gardening, native plants, local food and other treasures in their mid Atlantic backyard.

Searching for Native Fossils at Dinosaur Park

June’s issue of Washington Parent Magazine features my lastest article on a unique opportunity for connecting kids to nature and their past. Dinosaur Park provides information on the fossil rich “Dinosaur Alley” of Maryland and the Washington DC area and opportunities for kids to discover evidence of our earliest native plants and animals. The Dinosaur Park preserves part of a geologic formation called the Muirkirk Deposit of sediments and clays that occur south of Washington D.C. to north of Baltimore. Significant finds of dinosaur bones and early plant life have been found in this area for over 150 years, making it one of the most important dinosaur sites east of the Mississippi River. Families are invited to assist paleontologists searching for fossils on the first and third Saturdays each month from 12 noon until 4 pm. The highlight of the park is an intact portion of the Muirkirk Deposit surrounded by a fence. Access to this fossil area is allowed only during the bi-monthly open house days or by appointment for group tours and school programs. Dr. Peter Krantz and his team provide a tour of the park’s interpretive garden that brings the prehistoric past to the present via plants, trees, and ferns that are similar to those of dinosaur times.

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