Wednesday, May 29th, 2024 Church Directory
Dotted line indicates boundaries of the “Two Inlets at Bdé Heḣáka - Omashkooz Zaaga’igaans Regional Park.” (Submitted Photo).

New park name honors Native American history

Sherburne County’s newest park now has an official name.

Last Tuesday, the Sherburne County Commissioners approved the naming of the 430-acre park on Elk Lake as “Two Inlets at Bdé Heḣáka - Omashkooz Zaaga’igaans Regional Park.”

The name is based on a description of Lilly Creek and the Elk River inletting into Big Elk Lake (Two Inlets) and the name of the lake in both Dakota (Bdé Heḣáka) and Ojibwe (Omashkooz  Zaaga’igaans).

Sherburne County Parks Coordinator said the recommendation for the name came from discussions during the meetings of the Big Elk Lake Parkland Development Committee, which includes Commissioners Lisa Fobbe and Gary Gray, plus representation from  the Palmer Twp. Board of Supervisors, the Briggs Lake Chain Association, the Sherburne Soil & Water Conservation District, the Upper  and Lower Sioux Community, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and several county staff.

“Over the last six months we’ve been working to come up with a name that acknowledges the long history (8,000 to 10,000 years) and honors the partnerships that have developed and continue to grow with three sovereign tribal nations,” said Hugo. “The way the county has been approaching this project is gaining attention statewide and nationally.”

The term “Two Inlets” is descriptive of Lilly Creek coming in on the east and Elk River coming in on the west, both within the footprint of the park.  

“With the name of Elk Lake in both Ojibwe and Dakota, that honors the thousands of years that both cultures used this landscape to live and hunt, and gather and hold ceremony,” she said.

Commissioner Gregg Felber was very pleased with the name that was selected.

“I’m super happy with how this came out. This is just fantastic,” he said. “It gives you a name that obviously reflects the indigenous heritage of the area. We’ve got everything in there to represent the full history and the current uses of the park. You guys did a great job.”

The board voted unanimously to accept the name.

Parks Committee

The board approved the establishment of a Parks and Trails Advisory Committee and advertising to fill committee membership positions.

One member will be selected from each of the commissioner districts as appointed by each commissioner. Two members shall be “at large,” and will be selected by the county commissioners as a whole. The members from each district appointed will serve for a period of three years. The “at large members” will serve for four years.

HHS

The board accepted the 2024 Local Public Health Grant Award from the Minnesota Dept. of Health in the amount of $241,088 to provide high quality, collaborative public health programs that fulfill state mandates and address local health priorities. The county is responsible for a 75% match ($180,816) which will be met with various funding sources, including contributions from levy allocations.

The board also approved a grant contract from the MN Dept. of Human Services for Child and Teen Checkups in the amount of $148,453 for the 2024 budget period.

The purpose of the program is to reduce the impact of childhood health problems by identifying, diagnosing and treating health problems early, and to encourage the development of good health habits.

The grant amount is split in half, with $74,225.50 in state funding and the same amount in federal funding.

In other HHS actions the board:

• Accepted the 2024 WIC Grant Funding Award in the amount of $416,660 for the administration of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children;

• Accepted third quarter donations received by the Health & Human Services Dept. from various sources in the amount of $604.96;

• Proclaimed the month of November as Adoption Month.