Wilson student can look for fossils at school

HERRON – Wilson School received a large pile of fossilized limestone on Wednesday for its own fossil park. Lafarge and Specification Stone donated the gravel and limestone for the fossil site to Wilson as part of its “March is Reading Month” goal the students met.

“We have kits for the kids to use to help excavate some of the fossils,” Principal Jean Kowalski said. “There are books for the students to identify what they find. We’ve been working with Besser Museum and our fossil dig site will be like theirs, just on a smaller scale.”

Students will be able to dig the site at recess and for class projects, and are allowed to keep the fossils they find.

“We hope to use the site more at the beginning of next year once we have the procedures and rules set up for digging,” Kowalski said. “We want to be more involved in the outdoor classroom with hands-on learning.”

Bob Baughman, senior mining engineer with Lafarge, supervised the deposit at the school on Wednesday.

“The kids are going to love this,” Baughman said. “It will be great when they can sit down and go through the pile piece by piece and find all different kinds of fossils.”

Some of the more popular fossils found in the limestone are brachiopods, crinoids, bryzoa, and different types of corral and sea lillies. The students will use the tools in their kits to clean and identify the fossils, and then they can take them home and show them off.

“This is really nice for outlying schools like Wilson, because now they don’t have to drive to Besser to use their fossil park,” Baughman said. “They have one they can use at recess and get interested in fossils.”

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at ngrulke@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.