Aaron Hinks photo Archeological testing, by shovel and backhoe, began this week at Memorial Park, where the city’s proposed $4.5 million upgrade project was halted in September.

Archeological testing begins at Memorial Park

Site designated for White Rock city upgrade deemed of interest to several First Nations

Work began again this week at the Memorial Park site on White Rock’s waterfront for the long-planned – but subsequently delayed – $4.5-million upgrade.

Removal of six honey locust trees was accompanied by the beginning of archeological testing at the site, observed by Don Welsh of Semiahmoo First Nation and other archeologists contracted by the city to work on the Archeological Impact Assessment.

“We started with some shovel testing and moved on to some backhoe testing of the grassy area,” Welsh told Peace Arch News. “At some point they’ll have to tear down the washrooms and we’ll have to do some deeper testing under there.”

He said the area – which may include historic artifacts and burial sites – is of interest to several First Nations in the region.

Work at the site, originally scheduled to begin in September, was halted at the insistence of Semiahmoo First Nation so that archeological assessment could take place.

The site, which stretches east of the White Rock Museum & Archives to the existing washrooms above the pier, is to include a public amphitheatre and children’s play area.

The city has not announced a new timeline.

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