About the Fossil Park

EDELMAN GIFT
Children at the Fossil Park on A Dig Day

About the Fossil Park

A former marl pit located off Route 55 in Mantua Township, N.J., the Fossil Park contains thousands of fossils from the Cretaceous Period—the heyday of the dinosaurs. Researchers at the site, which was purchased by Rowan for $1.95 million in January, are carefully examining the fossils to determine if the site is related to the extinction that wiped out the 165-million-year reign of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Excavators have unearthed sea turtles, sharks, boney fish, crocodiles and mosasaurs at the park.

The Edelmans’ gift ensures that the park will be preserved and expanded, leading a transformation of STEM education through one-of-a-kind, hands-on discovery and world-class research at the Fossil Park.

Ambitious plans for the Fossil Park include a state-of-the-art museum and visitor center, a fossil preparation lab that will reveal how scientists study fossils, a nature trail, a paleontology-themed playground, social spaces to accommodate special events and—most importantly—the opportunity for students and families to participate in paleontological digs at the site.

Since 2012, nearly 15,000 visitors—from as far away as England—have dug for their own fossils at the 65-acre tract.

World renowned paleontologist Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, founding dean of Rowan’s School of Earth & Environment, directs the Fossil Park.