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Greenfield Center, New York

Lester Park

Fossilized sea bottom and lime quarry. 

Stand on visual evidence of 490 million-year-old sea life that changed the very composition of our atmosphere.

These stromatolites (layered stone) formed when New York was the bottom of a tropical sea located south of the equator. The formations were created as mats of cyanobacteria (a type of photosynthetic nitrogen fixing bacteria commonly know as “blue-green algae”) went through tidal growth spurts. Other marine fossils can be spotted between the undulating stone mats. An important scientific discovery, these fossils were the first of their kind to be found in the North America. Learn more from the “teach-yourself” panels at the site.

Donated in 1914 this land is persevered by the New York State Museum as a “scientific reservation.” In addition to their scientific importance, these ancient sea blooms present a beautiful glimpse of nature’s curious geometry and wonder.

On the opposite side of road is a crumbling lime kiln and abandoned quarry from the early 1900s you can walk through.

Know Before You Go

The park is marked with a blue and yellow sign from the NY State Education Department. There's a small pull off area to park your car.