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The Toll Roads Relaunches “Fossils in Your Backyard” Educational Program

Community-based educational programming and interactive experience provides hand-on learning for youth in Orange County

Irvine, Calif. - September 27, 2023

The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), in partnership with LSA Associates, Inc., an environmental consulting firm, is pleased to announce it has relaunched the “Fossils in your Backyard” program which provides free in-class paleontology and archeology presentations for school-aged children (grades 2-7) in Orange County.

This school year’s first presentation was held mid-September at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley, located in San Juan Capistrano, and featured a hands-on display with fossils and artifacts, some of which were unearthed during construction of The Toll Roads.

Children surrounding a fossil

“Watching the children engage with the paleontologist and interact with fossils discovered in the places we live was amazing to see,” shared Sara Stickler, Marketing Coordinator, Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley. “The programming was educational and interactive. The small setting allowed the children to engage and ask questions to better connect with the content. We rarely get a chance to see the process of science unfold in front of us and it was inspiring for all who were there.”  

The program gives children hands-on lessons about paleontology and archaeology with a professional scientist. Students touch and interact with fossils and replicas to learn what Orange County was like millions of years ago. Ideal for class-room style environments with programming tailored to science education, this free program is available to school and youth organizations in the region. Since inception, the “Fossil in Your Backyard” program has interacted with over 50,000 students. This year’s program will visit up to 36 schools and youth organizations.

“The TCA is committed to supporting local schools with various educational resources, with programs such as Fossils in Your Backyard,” said Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency Chair and San Juan Capistrano City Council Member John Taylor. “Relaunching and enhancing these types of educational programs provides a great forum to share how TCA discovered and protected artifacts found during the construction of The Toll Roads. Balancing transportation and mobility needs in the region, while also protecting the natural habitat, is a focal point for the Agencies.”

For more information on the Fossils in Your Backyard free programming, please visit or follow @TheTollRoads to learn more.

The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) are two joint powers authorities formed by the California Legislature in 1986 to plan, finance, construct and operate Orange County’s public toll road system comprised of the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads, which represents 20% of Orange County’s highway system.