Fossil encounter center opens at Ashfall dig site

Jun 28th, 2012 | By | Category: 2012, Campus News, Issue, June 28

Children and adults can learn and do more now that the Dickinson Fossil Heritage Center has opened at the Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park.

The new 1,520-square-foot center features educational exhibits and activity areas, including a fossil dig area and fossil bone puzzles to engage children. It also features exhibits focused on petrified wood and the rivers of Nebraska.

A future exhibit there will pay tribute to the contributions of amateur paleontologists and local ranchers who have donated fossils to the University of Nebraska collections.

The Dickinson Fossil Heritage Center was made possible with gifts in kind to the University of Nebraska Foundation of all building materials and labor from Len Dickinson and his wife Jule Goeller who own Sand Creek Post and Beam based in Wayne. They are both graduates of the College of Business Administration.

The center is named in memory of Dickinson’s father, Jack L. Dickinson, who was a Nebraska native and prominent businessman. A World War II veteran, he was active in his church and local civic organizations. He died Jan. 26, 1996.

In addition to the new Dickinson Center, visitors to the park can also see interpretive displays and the fossil preparation laboratory located in the visitor center. They may also experience the Hubbard Rhino Barn, which opened in 2009 to provide a firsthand look at extinct animals preserved exactly as they died, and all fossil excavations are carried out there in full view.

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