Kids Get Outside for No Child Left Inside Day

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Rebecca Bloomfield writes, Saturday…

Saturday, September 25, kids in Teller and El Paso counties got outside to do fun activities at many different park locations. I went to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in Florissant, Colorado. Activities there included digging for fossils, casting tracks, ranger led tours, games, and splitting shale to look for fossils. All activities were free and admission to the fossil beds was free for this day. The fossil beds has massive petrfied tree stumps, incredible numbers of fossils, and wildlife habitat. Millions of years ago a volcano erupted, causing a mud slide that covered redwood trees and coated insects, anmals, and plants. The redwood stumps are still here and they are huge! There are hundreds of fossils as well. My favorite fossil was a wolf spider. It had a lot of detail and was incrediblywell preserved. I enjoyed the fossil lab. Splitting open the flakes of shale to find fossils was fun and we used tools from the scientists. I didn’t find any fossils but the person next to me found an ancient seed that will be sent to the fossil beds library and cataloged. It may have even been evidence of a new species of tree! I also enjoyed the track casting. To cast a track, you pour plaster into a track in the mud, or in this case, a rubber mold. The plaster hardens into an animal track. We had our choice of squirrel tracks, rabbit tracks, fox tracks, and mountain lion tracks. I made the front tracks of a mountain lion and a squirrel. The plaster tracks came out well, and at the station kids learned to use tracks and scat to identlfy animals and learn more about them. We looked at specific tracks and scat of local animals. No Child Left Inside Day was fun for all ages and encouraged kids to get out and explore. I’m glad I did!