The Vineyard

Your monthly pick of the latest happenings at The Vine

Jul 16, 2022 | EVENTS

Become a Scientist for a Day at Dinosaur Park

Have you ever wanted to play paleontologist? Dinosaur Park invites members of the community to roll up their sleeves and dig for fossils alongside scientists. Maryland has long been a site of discovery. In fact, the first instance of miners stumbling upon fossils dates back to 1858—they were searching for iron ore but found dinosaur bones instead.

Since then, scientists have dug into the earth all over Prince George’s County looking for more. Dinosaur Park became an area of particular interest after mining ceased in the 1980s. Local paleontologists set out to preserve this area for scientific exploration since it was already known to be rich in fossils. To this day, they continue to dig with the help of the public during twice-monthly open-house hours. Wear close-toed shoes and comfy clothes to come out for a public dig. You’ll probably discover rare fossils from the Cretaceous period, which happened 115 million years ago. If you’re lucky, you might find bones and teeth from the Astrodon johnstoni, Maryland’s state dinosaur, or you could uncover the fossilized remains of early flowers.