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Artist Robin Ruggiero's Dinosaurs A Delight At Allaire State Park

WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Prehistoric figures started popping up in the woods in Wall Township.

The artist was a mystery, until recently.

As CBS2's Meg Baker reported, deep in Allaire State Park, dinosaurs started coming to life -- made of twigs, twine, and even some bones.

"We saw dinosaurs, I swear! ... Very cool," a park-going cyclist said. "You know who did them?"

Now we do. Robin Ruggiero, from Brick. She started visiting the trails a few years ago to clear her mind and help her get out of what she calls a dark place.

N.J. dinosaurs
(Photo: CBS2)

"I would be walking through this spot, and that piece right there, that tail, was laying right there and every time I walk by it, I would think it looks like a dinosaur tail," she said.

So she put a post in the ground and started creating a t-rex.

"Kind of felt like that's what I had to get out a lot of anger, t-rex type of emotions, and it worked. It really has changed my life," she said.

From there, she moved on to a triceratops, a stegosaurus, and a mother and baby pteranodon. Hikers started noticing and now routinely visit.

"I like how its in the middle of the forest and you can find all sorts of cool things," 9-year-old Lyric said. "I just fed the dinosaur a little invertebrate. I put it as a little tooth."

N.J. dinosaurs
(Photo: CBS2)

"I would just be out here working and people would come up and I'd say hi," Ruggiero said. "Being out here, and all the people, they have helped me so much. It's part of my healing, paving my path."

Ruggiero's latest installation is a butterfly. It has a lot of meaning for her and, she's found, for others as well.

"Butterflies are supposed to represent transformations and can be some healing for people who have lost people," she said.

Some other visitors named that section of the park "Robinswoods" after the artist, a title Ruggiero said she is still getting used to.

The dinosaurs now come up on Google Maps, if you are trying to find them in Allaire State Park.

CBS2's Meg Baker contributed to this report. This article was originally published on May 25, 2021. 

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