Agate Fossil Beds a significant site on Nebraska's passport prog - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Agate Fossil Beds a significant site on Nebraska's passport program

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Just a few miles north of Mitchell stands a piece of history.

Agate Fossil Beds is home to serene trails and some of the oldest preserved mammal bones in the world.

Established in 1965, the area was not only set up to preserve Miocene fossils, but to house a collection of native american artifacts. The park also has two walking trails for visitors to get some fresh air while taking in the views.

Visitor services assistant Lil Mansfield says that they are excited for people to see the beauty in the park.

"This is great," says Mansfield. "It's the third year that we've been accepted into the program and this year we are in the without walls and if you look through the windows behind me, you'll see that we don't have any walls out here on the prairie and it's a great place to get out, walk, just to experience nature."

Agate Fossil Beds has been featured in numerous publications and recognized by historical organizations for their efforts in preserving such a significant site.

Nebraska Tourism Commission director Kathy McKillip says the beds are a local gem that people may not even be aware of.

"Two years ago in 2012 the Smithsonian did a featured story not only about Agate Fossil Beds, but ash falls. And we had some other areas that are just really unique to life that occurred here millions of years ago," says McKillip. "And we just forget what a phenomenon that is, that no other state has access to that."

Mansfield says that there is no doubt that there is something new for visitors to discover with their visit to Agate.

"We're one of the westernmost sites on the passport program and I think in conjunction with all the other sites that are out there, we really get to showcase the whole state of Nebraska," says Mansfield.
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