On Thursday afternoon, children at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig kicked off a celebration 75 years in the making.
Dinosaur National Monument expanded from its original 80-acre fossil quarry in Eastern Utah into Colorado into the 200,000 acres it currently covers. The expansion happened on July 14, 1938.
To commemorate the occasion, Conservation Colorado & the Wilderness Society and the National Park Service are putting together several celebratory events, called Beyond the Bones, through the rest of the summer and into the fall highlighting the Colorado side of the monument.
The first event is a statewide poster contest for children entering grades kindergarten through 12th grade, designing posters with the Beyond the Bones theme in mind.
“The Colorado side of Dinosaur National Monument is famous for its landscapes,” said Sasha Nelson of Conservation Colorado while addressing children at the Boys & Girls Club. “Try to think hard about things besides dinosaurs for your posters.”
The winners of the poster contest will have their posters displayed at the Monument after judging in early August. Julia Chavez, 10, was voted as the winner at the Boys & Girls club Thursday.
“I’m thinking about doing the ground and a volcano, because some dinosaurs lived near volcanoes,” Chavez said before she began drawing Thursday. “Maybe an asteroid in the sky, too.”
Beyond the Bones will feature cake at the monument’s visitor centers Sunday, as well as other Dinosaur-related activities in the coming weeks, but the poster contest was an important way to get it all started.
“We know kids get excited about dinosaurs, but we wanted to stretch their minds,” Nelson said. “Get kids engaged in the celebration of the Colorado part of the monument, and hopefully get them to share it with their folks and others.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org