Big Sandy Junior Explorer Series at the Library
September 26, 2018
Kristina Smith, Friends of the Missouri, and Mark Peterson from the BLM came to the Big Sandy Library to give a program on fossils and the Upper Missouri River Breaks.
Kristina Smith said, "We want to do this because not all the school or the libraries or museums can travel. We wanted to educate kids and our neighbors on the Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument and also on what all that entails. The total environment if you will
The BLM has a lot of programs having to do with stewardship, with the land, the mammals, the fish. It allows them to partner with the Big Sandy Library."
Mark came here from North Carolina, because I wanted to do this." He loves Paleontology and "all of this is in your back yard. There are so many fossils in the monument." You can take any fossils as long as you can pick it up and it doesn't have a vertebra. You should be fine. However, if you every find a really great fossil and you don't know if it has a backbone, leave it and contact the BLM. We might go dig it up and put it in a museum."
Kristina reminded us that the monument has a "leave no trace program." So, in other words if you feel the rock or the fossil you picked up leaves a trace of its existence, you should probably leave it for others to enjoy.
Talking about stewardship, they do have some life vests, rain jackets, sleeping bags, tents, but will also be writing some grants to allow for day trips, or even camping trips for the kids along the Upper Missouri Breaks River Monument.
"We would like to do an outreach with the school here." In Fort Benton, they did an outreach with the 5th grade and 7th grade. They will be talking to our schools in the future to see if we have any interest.
Ann Quinn started the day by reading a story about dinosaurs. Mark showed the children a number of fossils and proof this whole area was underwater at one time. They worked through the Junior Ranger Booklets and if there is enough time they were going to make Pterodactyl puppets.
We do have a lot of other free events coming up also brought to us from the BLM and Friends of the Missouri, all of them at the Upper Missouri Interpretive Center in Fort Benton. However, if you are interested in the Missouri River History they would be worth going to. September 28th National Native American Day-learn about the first people who lived here. October 4th Ghosts of the Levee-A trip into the past and the present, exploring the ghosts that haunt the Levee; Oct. 5th, History Through an Artists Eyes-A look at two artists renditions of the famous surrender of Chief Joseph; October 12th Ghost of Montana by Ellen Baumler; October 15th-19th National Earth Science Week-looking deeper into fossils, rock identification, biomes and more and October 20th Be Bear Aware.