Fossil Park, Sylvania, Ohio

March 21, 2006

Fossilpark copy

Provided and copyright by: Tim Martin, Greensboro Day School
Summary authors & editors: Tim Martin

As the Appalachian Mountains eroded 400 million years ago, sediment was carried down the western slopes and deposited in an ancient sea. This sea, teeming with life, covered much of today’s northern mid-west. The silica rich sediment settled in the calm water and buried over 200 different species of life. Millions of years later, the silicaceous shale and marine sediment are overburden of more desirable aggregate rock used in construction.

Located not far from Toledo, Fossil Park in Sylvania, OH, is one of the premier Devonian era fossil sites in the world. Hanson Aggregates Materials Company has creatively faced the challenge that many aggregate companies have faced—How to reclaim land that was formerly part of a quarry? The solution: Create a park for fossil hunting. The fully accessible park, now operated by the Olander Park System, allows visitors to come and dig through piles of the overburden shale. “…and the best part is you get to keep anything you find!” Casual hunters will find numerous brachiopod and crinoid fragments, the lucky or patient hunters will be rewarded with horn corals or an intact trilobite.

Hanson Aggregates received one of the two state wide Reclamation Awards from Ohio Aggregates and Industrial Minerals Association for a community reuse project. The firm has also been nominated for a national reclamation award.

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