Agate Fossil Beds

Agate Fossil Beds has three days of events planned to celebrate Founders Day, the 101st birthday of the National Park Service.

The National Park Service was created Aug. 25, 1916. Founders Day is an opportunity for parks to show their pride, connect with visitors, and reflect on the importance of the National Park Service. Parks 101, the theme for the parks this year, focuses on the reason each park was established. At Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, those reasons include Miocene mammal fossils and the collection of Native American artifacts.

“Wanna See Cool Stuff?” Friday will feature More Stuff from the Paleontology Collection from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Museum Curator Maryann Neubert and her museum crew will temporarily display items from the park’s vault that are in the paleontology collection and not on display. Many items are not on display and visitors have learned more about the stories here through these items which were found by or given to James and Harold Cook. An avid spinner, Neubert will have one or two spinning wheels set up and will demonstrate the art of spinning and assist visitors in learning the art.

Carol Snow will be the Cultural Demonstrator Friday through Sunday, and on Sunday at 2 p.m., Loren Pospisil will present “Dogs in Plains Indian Culture” in the theater.

Snow is a certified tribal artisan of the Seneca Nation of Indians. She has won awards at American Indian art shows throughout the Rocky Mountain region and over 100 of her paintings and drawings have been published in books, magazines and calendars. She most often works with animal and American Indian motifs, using realistic and contemporary-primitive styles. Her current techniques include hand embossed metals (especially copper), which she will explain to the public, assisting all who wish in making an embossed metal bookmark to take home. She will be in the main room of the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument Visitor Center August 25 - 27, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.

Pospisil, Director of the Chimney Rock Historic Site near Bayard, has studied the Plains Indians and their culture for many years. Through his research he has seen that there is a lot of talk about horses. Pospisil found that horses were a relative newcomer on the Northern Plains. The “horse culture” lasted a little over a century and for thousands of years the Plains Indians colonized a continent with dogs as their major beast of burden.

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He worked at Fort Robinson for seven years and has been at Chimney Rock for 23 years.

All weekend Rangers will have special activities for the young and young at heart. Games and four different Junior Ranger Activities Books will be available.

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