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Here's your chance to dig up a mastodon
By Jake Griffin | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 7/26/2008 12:06 AM

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A joint effort between the DuPage County Forest Preserve and Chicago's Field Museum is in its second year of extracting mastodon fossils from a field in the Pratt's Wayne Wood Forest Preserve near Bartlett.

Registration began last year for a two-week "Mastodon Camp" that runs from July 28 to Aug. 8 where students and teachers are able to learn more about the extinct beast and help dig up remains of an 11,500-year-old mastodon found in the forest preserve. But the public will also be allowed to observe and participate to varying degrees with a few programs available in the later half of the dig.

Half-day excavations on Aug. 2 and Aug. 3 will allow the public a chance to participate. Guided tours of the excavation site are also available Aug. 5 through Aug. 8.

The half-day excavation packages cost $20 per person. The 8 a.m. to noon session Aug. 2 is for teachers, and the 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. session is for adults and children 6 to 8. On Aug. 3, the morning session is for adults 16 and older, and the afternoon session is adults and children 9 to 16.

The tours will take place at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., according to forest preserve officials. They begin Aug. 5 and visitors will learn the history of the site from a forest preserve naturalist. The tours are free of charge.

The dig is located in James "Pate" Philip State Park, which is contiguous with the forest preserve property in Wayne. Visitors can enter the forest preserve off Stearns Road, a mile west of Route 59.

For more information call (630) 933-7208 or visit