The rock outcrops at Fort Negley Park contain fossils of corals that grew on the floor of the Bahamas-like sea that covered the Nashville area ~450 million years ago. These fossils and their enclosing rocks provide a unique glimpse of Nashville’s ancient history. All rocks, artifacts, plants, and animals at Fort Negley Park are protected and must not be disturbed or removed (Metro Ordinance BL 2011-834).
However, in the pile of fossil-rich rock located next to the Fort Negley Visitors Center, visitors are free to collect and take home fossils that they find. These rocks and fossils are from a quarry at Parsons Tennessee 90 miles west of Nashville. The rocks are donated and transported to Fort Negley Park by the quarry owner, Vulcan Materials Company.
Fort Negley Park, Friends of Fort Negley Park, and Vulcan Materials Company provide three types of fossil programs.