Burpee takes reservations for Tennessee fossil collecting trip

Burpee takes reservations for Tennessee fossil collecting trip


Burpee Museum staff and volunteers Invite you to spend an exciting weekend with them on June 29 and 30, collecting fossils at Coon Creek, Tenn. All interested individuals should contact the Burpee Museum immediately at 815-965-3433 to reserve your spot.

The Coon Creek fossil site, located near Leapwood in McNairy County, Tenn., is one of America’s most prolific fossil locales. The rocks here are approximately 75 million years old and were deposited late in the Cretaceous Period in an ancient embayment of the Gulf of Mexico. More than 600 species of fossils have been reported from the Coon Creek site. The fossils occur in a black clay, and despite their great age, have not been petrified. The specimens are excellently preserved, unaltered from the day they died.

Today, the Coon Creek fossil site is owned by the Pink Palace Museum in Memphis, which maintains the site for research and education. Participants will be carving fossils out of the Coon Creek Formation by looking through chunks of the formation that have been pre-dug from a quarry. Collecting tools are available at the site, so it isn’t necessary to bring your own. Instructions on collecting and cleaning the fossils will be available at the site. Participants are allowed to keep their finds, although the Pink Palace Museum does have the right to claim any fossil of exceptional interest.

Participants will meet at the Coon Creek fossil site at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 29. Participants must supply their own transportation to and from the site. Maps and directions will be available upon registration. The cost for the trip, which includes Saturday stay at a motel, is $80 for members and $95 for non- members.

Space is limited to 32 participants, so call early! 815-965-3433. For more information, contact Michael Henderson, paleontologist at 815-965-3433 or fax 815-965-2703.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!