The 68 million-year-old dinosaur tracks at the golf course in Golden are set for a hit of notoriety May 21.
A dedication ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. at Triceratops Trail on the west side of Fossil Trace Golf Course, 3050 Illinois St., to acknowledge the fossil site as a National Natural Landmark.
Triceratops Trail at the golf course was added to the existing Morrison Fossil Area National Natural Landmark at Dinosaur Ridge in 2011. The new name for the extended site will be the Morrison-Golden Fossil Areas.
Friends of Dinosaur Ridge President Joe Tempel said, “We held off on the dedication to get some interpretive signs up about the designation and do some maintenance on the trail.”
The mission of the Friends group has been to educate the public and preserve the dinosaur tracks both in Morrison and in Golden.
Retired geologist and Golden resident T. Canner has long been an advocate of the tracks’ preservation. He was active last year in urging Jefferson County to approve a protective cover over the prints at Dinosaur Ridge, 16831 Alameda Parkway.
He told county commissioners, “We want to counteract the erosion and stabilize the vertical sandstone beds. The shelters will further preserve the prints.”
He vowed to restart the conversation about a shelter over the prints in Morrison at the popular Dinosaur Ridge, where a new visitor center is being planned.
Tempel called Caneer a founder and “the godfather of Triceratops Trail.”
He said, “The Friends of Dinosaur Ridge are working with Jefferson County to determine where a new visitor center would be located and its design.”
On May 21, several dignitaries will speak, including Tempel and Martin Lockley, director of the CU Tracks Museum. A representative of the Department of Interior and local officials will be on hand as well, as will Dr. Bob Weimer, of the Colorado School of Mines. Triceratops Trail extends across 19th Street to the Colorado School of Mines campus. Numbered signs designate geologic points of interest. Dr. Bruce Geller, director of the Mines Geology Museum, said the trail on the campus is part of the same stratum as the golf course. It’s recognized for footprints of reptiles, birds and mammals.
“Not many campuses have such an attraction,” Geller said. “Ours is the second most visited geology museum in the country, outside of Harvard.”
“That’s good company,” Geller said.
Karen Groves: 303-954-2303 or email@example.com
PHOTO CAPTION: Caleb Chang, 10, takes a close look May 10 at some of the evidence left by dinosaurs along Triceratops Trail at Parfet Prehistoric Preserve in Golden. Photo by Lindsay Pierce, YourHub