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Ashfall Fossil Beds digging in
Lani Manion, an Ashfall Fossil Beds summer intern from Minnesota State University, Mankato, removes the top layer of ash at the dig site in the new Hubbard Rhino Barn recently. (Troy Fedderson / File photo)

Student scholars who dig fossils at Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park will now have a place to stay.

Three cabins were built for those participating in paleontology research at the park. Each features a common living area and kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms.

Funding for the $263,000 project was provided by the Theodore F. and Claire M. Hubbard Family Foundation of Omaha with a charitable donation to the University of Nebraska Foundation.

Before the cabins were built, visitors commuted each day from Orchard, 10 miles away, or Creighton, 16 miles away.

The cabins are not open to the public.

Visiting scholars play an important role at Ashfall by providing needed help to paleontologists and, in return, gain hands-on experience in vertebrate paleontology.

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Since studies began at Ashfall in the 1970s, more than 200 fossil skeletons from 12 species of Clarendonian land mammal age have been discovered.

In 2006, the park was designated a National Natural Landmark; it was the first site to receive such distinction in more than 18 years.

For more information, call 402-893-2000 or go to www.ashfall.unl.edu.

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