"There was no evidence of actual knowledge of unstable bluffs that posed risks to the safety of visitors to the park and its Fossil Ground," the executive summary reads. "To the extent that the city possessed general knowledge of soil erosion within the park, it was insufficient to enable the city to predict and prevent the deadly slope failure at the East Clay Pit."
The investigators blamed the landslide on natural erosion "aggravated by groundwater migration during a very rainy spring and trampling of foot traffic along unmarked trails."
Fossil hunting permits will stay suspended as the city works on a visitor safety plan, but St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman told KARE 11 that part of the park's attraction lies in its unpaved, off-the-beaten-track nature. He added, however, that fossil hunting in the park will not be allowed going forward.
"Lilydale Park is a wonderful, wonderful part of the city," he said. "It is an untamed and wild area: that is part of its mystique, part of its wonder.
The two investigations were conducted by a legal, fact-finding team that reviewed documents and interviewed staffers and by an engineering team that looked at how the area's geology interacted with man-made devices such as storm sewers.
Neither team found any wrongdoing by city employees.