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Good crowd for first-ever Fossil Day at GoG Visitor Center; could become annual event

Theiophytalia kerri, the dinosaur unique to this region, was a popular exhibit during the Fossil Day Oct. 10 at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center.
Westside Pioneer photo
The Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center counted 3,400 people at its first-time National Fossil Day Celebration Oct. 10.
       They seemed to have enjoyed themselves.
       “We had an excellence response from the attendees,” said Visitor Center staffer Dolores Davis. “The fossil identification table, with experts from the West Interior Paleontological Society (WIPS), was a big hit.” At the table, people were encouraged to bring in their own fossils, with WIPS using United States Geological Survey (USGS) software “to help identify the fossils and geologic formations they originated from,” Davis said. “The kids were able to touch and examine over 1,000 fossils brought to the event.”
       Other activities in the six-hour experience included several additional information tables, three educational presentations and chances to find out more about Theiophytalia kerri, a Cretaceous-era dinosaur whose remnants have been found only in the area of the Garden of the Gods.
       The Visitor Center is at 1850 N. 30th St., across from the eastern access to the Garden of the Gods on Gateway Road.
       The Oct. 10 event came about at the request of WIPS, a nonprofit based in Denver that has a branch in this area. The timing was based on National Fossil Day, established by the National Park Service as Oct. 14.
       Davis said that because of the favorable response, the Visitor Center - which is run by a nonprofit foundation - is strongly considering making Fossil Day an annual occasion. “The event is a perfect fit for the Visitor & Nature Center in helping further our mission of education and connecting kids to nature and science,” she said. “We hope there will be many more to come.”

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 10/13/15; Outdoors: Garden of the Gods)

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