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October 2022

Fossil Day Celebrations
at Ladonia Fossil Park

During the Cretaceous period, Fannin County was covered by a sea
ruled by the mighty Mosasaurus.

The Ladonia Fossil Park is one of Fannin County’s most popular and visited sites. Located on the east side of FM 2990 and north side of the North Sulphur River, fossil hunters flock to this portion of the river to discover fossils dating back to the Cretaceous period (145 million to 65 million years ago).
National Fossil Day is this October 12, and fossil hunting enthusiasts will be celebrating at the temporary Ladonia Fossil Park on Saturday, October 15. Local geologists, fossil hunters and representatives from the Dallas Paleontology Society will be on hand to help identify fossils and rocks. A number of local food vendors will also be joining the festivities. Event organizer spokeswoman Cheryl McClure anticipates up to 300 celebrants to the family-friendly event, including 100 children.

According to McClure, relocation of the Ladonia Fossil Park to its current location has led to great access for more visitors to make their own new discoveries as they hunt further west. McClure is one of the administrators for the Ladonia Fossil Park Facebook Group.
In anticipation of this event, the Ladonia Fossil Park page on the Lake Ralph Hall website has been updated and now includes a photo carousel of fossils found at the park, park rules and a Q&A section for fossil hunters visiting the park for the first time. The Q&A includes helpful tips on how to access the park, what to bring, the best times to fossil hunt, safety tips and where to access amenities in Ladonia, including food and gas.
The new, temporary park opened the summer of 2021 and will remain open until the reservoir is completed and a new, permanent fossil park can be created downstream of the lake’s dam.

Some Ladonia Fossil Park Fossil Finds (Credit: Cheryl McClure):

Work Begins on Leon Hurse Dam Spillway

Construction of the Leon Hurse Dam spillway, on the north end of the dam, is scheduled to begin in October. Construction of the dam and spillway will continue into mid-2025. UTWRD contractor Granite is constructing the spillway, which will use a combination of Roller Compacted Concrete (a lean concrete mixture) and reinforced concrete for spillway construction. Approximately 136,000 cubic yards of concrete will be used.
October construction also includes work on several slurry trenches for the reservoir. Trenches north and south of the dam create a low permeability barrier across the foundation to prevent seepage beneath it. The contractor will finish installing the final half of the slurry trench on the north side of the dam and begin installing the remainder of the slurry trenches in October.
Crews continue placing compacted dirt for the dam embankment on both sides of the dam. The completed dam will consist of approximately 5.02 million cubic yards of dirt, enough to fill a football field three thousand feet deep.
The spillway is designed to pass the 100-year flood. Any floods greater than a 100-year event will pass over the emergency spillway.

Celebration of Last Beam Placement for North Sulphur River Bridge:

Upper Trinity Regional
Water District

900 North Kealy Avenue
Lewisville, Texas 75067
(972) 219-1228
Lake Ralph Hall Office
10910 State Highway 34
Ladonia, Texas 75449
(903) 367-7008
Hours: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., M–F,
or by appointment
Copyright © 2022 Upper Trinity Regional Water District, All Rights Reserved.

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Lake Ralph Hall (UTRWD) · PO Box 305 · Lewisville, TX 75067-0305 · USA

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