Bever Park rock has been here for as long as Cedar Rapids residents can remember, including me! I grew up in Cedar Rapids and remember the legend that the rock was a meteor that had mysteriously landed here and had now become a permanent meteorite. It was also a much more crazy legend that the markings on top of the rock might be evidence of alien petroglyphs!
This all made for a great story, but none of it was even close to being fact! The truth is, Bever Park rock was picked up over 10,000 years ago by a massive glacier in Canada or Minnesota and then dropped off here, buried in glacial till. (Glacial till is soil or fine rock deposits carried along by the glacier.)
But the Bever Park rock would have never been made visible without the process of downcutting. Downcutting, also called erosional downcutting, is a geological process that deepens the channel of a stream or valley by removing material (e.g. glacial till) from the stream’s bed or valley floor. Since the Bever Park rock sits in a valley, it has been concluded that downcutting by a once very powerful stream or streams from glacial meltwater was responsible for exposing the large rock. A tiny remnant of one of these streams remains which now runs so gently under the bridge that led you to this amazing rock! Bever Park is open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
To receive credit for this earth cache, email to me the answers to the following questions:
- How wide is the stream?
- Estimate how wide this and other streams may have been when they were powerful enough to carry away or downcut the glacial till surrounding Bever Park rock.
- Go examine the rock up close and describe its color, texture, and any special markings you can observe. Explain why you think the rock has these attributes.
- Estimate the height and width of the Bever Park rock. Optional- Post a photo of yourself at the rock.