This morning was my last bit of the GSA annual meeting in Denver, and the session I attended was about a subject dear to my heart, the preservation of geologically interesting places. As geologists we care about all kinds of odd things that most people either don't notice or use without knowing anything geological about it. But there are "hooks" in almost every such place that connect it to the community around it, and here a wonderful talk by Edward Stermer presented a great example: the "rediscovery" and preservation of Peoria's Rocky Glen.
When Stermer came to Peoria to teach, he kept hearing about Rocky Glen, a place where everyone used to go. He was interested because old-timers mentioned high cliffs of rock, which would make the place the city's best bedrock. But somehow, it had gotten lost when the city established Rocky Glen Park. (Stermer learned that the city had purchased the wrong piece of property.) When he tracked down the right location, which was privately owned, he learned that it had a rich human history as a coal mine and mine union organizing site. Long story short, he helped start the Friends of Rocky Glen, bringing the community together as a unified force to secure the property, which the city purchased last year. I wish you all could have heard the talk, but the website gives a lot of the flavor.
So the morning's message from me is, "Geoheritage Plays in Peoria."