by Joni Astrup
Bailey Point Nature Preserve has been approved as the official name for Elk River’s latest park.
The Elk River City Council voted unanimously May 20 to approve the name.
The 23-acre parcel was acquired by the city last November. It is located west of downtown, where the Mississippi and Elk rivers meet.
Mayor John Dietz liked the addition of nature preserve to the name, saying it reinforces the city’s intent to keep the point as a natural area where people can observe birds and plants.
He also supports the Bailey Point name. Dietz said the Baileys have been a well-known family in Elk River for more than 100 years. They founded Elk River Concrete Products (Cretex). The Bailey family and the Bailey brothers were very civic-minded people who donated a lot to the community and provided leadership throughout the years, Dietz said.
“I think it would be truly fitting that we name this park after them,” he said.
Council Member Stewart Wilson agreed, saying it serves as a legacy to the Baileys and their involvement in the community.
Council Member Paul Motin said he had no objection whatsoever to the name, but noted that there has been concern in the past about naming parks or other things for people.
He sees Bailey Point Nature Preserve as an exception becuase the site has been known as Bailey Point and it makes sense to keep the same name.
Dietz also noted that the city has a parks and facilities naming policy in place. The policy was approved by the City Council last fall.
In a related matter, the City Council also approved regulations for the use of Bailey Point.
A designated river access will be established in the southeast corner of the park for canoe/kayak river access and for fishing from the park land.
In addition, under the regulations no organized or team sport activities will be allowed at Bailey Point.
Bailey Point is currently closed to the public. A parking lot will be constructed and the nature preserve is expected to be open for public use in late June or early July, according to Elk River Parks and Recreation Director Michael Hecker.