by Joni Astrup
An archaeological dig is tentatively planned for this summer at Elk River’s newest park, Bailey Point, and the public would be invited to participate in it.
The Elk River City Council voted unanimously Tuesday, Jan. 22, to apply for a grant to the Minnesota Historical Society for funding to conduct the archaeological survey.
A professional archaeologist and volunteers would complete the survey. Volunteers would be paired with professional staff and encouraged to participate in all aspects of the field work, according to Elk River Environmental Administrator Rebecca Haug.
Daily tours would also be given for interested individuals.
This would not be the first time the city has invited the public to participate in an archaeological dig. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, a public participation dig was held at the Alan Hoebelheinrich farm, Haug said.
The Bailey Point dig would be expected to take about two weeks. Haug said they hope to do it in June, in conjunction with the ArtSoup festival held in downtown Elk River. Bailey Point is located along the Mississippi and Elk rivers, just west of downtown,
The city purchased Bailey Point in November. The purchase was funded in part by a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources grant. As part of that grant agreement, the city is required to conduct an archaeological survey, Haug said.
The Elk River Heritage Preservation Commission and Elk River Park and Recreation Commission have also expressed support for seeking a grant to do the dig, she said. The amount to be requested hasn’t been finalized, but is expected to be about $13,000.