The Ada Township Parks & Recreation Department is working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to use a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to complete third phase of the Leonard Field Park 2020 Master Plan. The federal funding required the project to complete an archaeology survey to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act.
ECT’s Cultural Resources team completed a Phase I archaeological survey at Leonard Field Park. The goal of the Phase I survey was to evaluate whether archaeological resources eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places would be impacted by the project. Two archaeological sites were recorded during the survey. One of the sites was a layer of historical fill along the bank of the Thornapple River that included bottles, pottery, and brick fragments dating to the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. The fill was likely brought in from a nearby location to stabilize the riverbank after an episode of flooding. The second site included bottles from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, and several pre-contact Native American artifacts. The artifacts were chert flakes, which is debris that is left over from the manufacture of stone tools such as arrowheads.
ECT was able to determine that neither site was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, and the project was able to proceed as planned.