BACKGROUND: History can really come to life when children have the chance to dig for their own fossil bones. Since 1970, Poricy Park Conservancy has been preserving 250 acres of open space, wildlife and their habitats, prehistoric fossil beds, and the historic Murray Farmhouse. The Poricy Brook Fossil Beds are well known to fossil collectors in the Northeast. The fossils date from the Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic era, 145 to 65 million years ago.

INSIDER INFO: Poricy Park offers several popular summer camp programs. The last open house for the 2010 programs takes place May 22 from 2 to 4 p.m.

WHERE: Poricy Park is located at 345 Oak Hill Road in Red Bank.,+345+Oak+Hill+Road+in+Red+Bank,+NJ&sll=40.310376,-74.01618&sspn=0.00738,0.019205&ie=UTF8&hq=PORICY+PARK,+345+Oak+Hill+Road&hnear=Red+Bank,+NJ&ll=40.38199,-74.099178&spn=0.062243,0.153637&z=13&iwloc=A" target="_blank">CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS.

HOURS AND COST: Trails are open year round from dawn until 10 p.m. The nature center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the fossil beds are open April through October from dawn until dusk. Call 732-842-5966 for more information.