Prehistoric peoples of Roberts Ranch tour featured as part of open space educational series

Larimer County Department of Natural Resources is hosting a series of free educational programs for the 20th anniversary of the Help Preserve Open Spaces sales tax. Travel back in time to learn about the prehistoric peoples of Roberts Ranch during a tour of the ranch on Saturday, May 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Participants will visit more than 10 prehistoric Native American sites spanning the last 10,000 years. Many of the sites were excavated by Colorado State University between the early 1970s and late 1980s. Sites will include several stone circles, rock shelters and campsites that have yielded abundant stone tools, pottery, animal bones and abundant fire pits.

Participants will meet at Jax Ranch and Home, located at 1000 N. Hwy. 287 in Fort Collins, at 8:30 a.m. and carpool up to Roberts Ranch. The tour will return at 1:30 p.m.

Participants will be hiking off trail on flat ground, grasslands and rocky terrain. Round-trip distance is about 3 miles. Hike rating: moderate. Please bring hats, sunscreen, water, lunch, backpack, camera, etc. Long pants and sturdy shoes are recommended.

Jason LaBelle, noted CSU archaeology professor and director of the Center for Mountain and Plains Archaeology, will lead the trip. LaBelle has been conducting archaeological surveys and excavations in the Laramie Foothills area for the past 10 years. He is leading new research into these sites through both class and thesis projects based on CSU’s prior work on Roberts Ranch.

The program is free, but registration is required. Please go to www.larimer.org/NRregistration to sign up. Direct questions to Heather at (970) 619-4489 or hyoung@larimer.org.

For information on the 20th anniversary of the Help Preserve Open Spaces sales tax and other fun, free activities taking place in 2016, visit www.larimer.org/openspaces20th.

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