Search Area Project Completed at Crater of Diamonds

By Sarah Reap


Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! Whether it’s the park bulldozer plowing fresh dirt or an excavator overturning several feet of soil, it is always exciting to see heavy machinery at work in the park’s diamond search area.

In recent weeks, the search area has undergone a major excavation project managed by Bobby Walker, of Walker Sand & Gravel, in Lockesburg. According to Park Superintendent Caleb Howell, “Walker Sand & Gravel has completed several heavy equipment projects for the park in the past, and we are happy to have them back once again.”

The primary goal of this year’s project was to help manage erosion of the diamond search area by making the field’s central pathway the high point between all north and south drainages. To accomplish this task, Walker and his crew dug a 150-yard trench north from the central path. Approximately 3,000 cubic yards of dirt and gravel were relocated to the south side of the trail to help reduce a steep slope, improving guest safety and accessibility. A large culvert that ran under the central pathway was also removed.

Large projects like this tend to draw a lot of attention and excitement. In addition to maintaining the park’s most valuable resource, they can also increase the chances of finding diamonds. Assistant Park Superintendent Waymon Cox explains, “Most park guests search for diamonds near the surface. The equipment used in these projects exposes unsearched diamond-bearing material from deeper underground, so there is a great opportunity for more people to find diamonds!”

Walker Sand & Gravel was founded by Royce Walker and is now operated by his son Bobby. According to Walker, “The equipment used in this project included a John Deere 850J dozer, a John Deere 333G compact track loader, and a Case International 9380 tractor with a Humdinger scraper.”

Since 2005 Crater of Diamonds State Park has completed several trenching projects in different parts of the diamond search area. The latest project was completed in mid-August. The search area remained open throughout the project, but guests were encouraged to stay safe and keep clear of the heavy machinery.

Crater of Diamonds State Park staff welcomes you to come explore the exciting changes that have been made to the search area during your next diamond adventure!

Search area last plowed: August 27, 2023

Most recent significant rain: September 3, 2023

Recent diamond finds (100 points = 1 carat):

August 29 – Jeffrey Peek, Lonoke, AR, 10 pt. yellow; Scott Kreykes, Dierks, AR, 1 pt. white

September 1 – Aspen Brown, Paragould, AR, 2.95 ct. brown

September 3 – Laura Breazeale, Flowood, MS, 6 pt. white; Charlyne Schatzl, Sullivan, MO, 3 pt. white; Scott Kreykes, Dierks, AR, 1 pt. white

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