downtown park naming

The city of Ellensburg Parks & Recreation Commission is accepting names for the new downtown park.

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It’s not too late for Ellensburg citizens to weigh in on the name for the Downtown Park on Fourth Avenue and Pearl Street. The city of Ellensburg is taking suggestions through Friday.

It has been an ongoing process, but the Ellensburg Parks & Recreation Commission has gathered an additional 105 names, added to the 70 suggestions from the previous round.

“We do not have a target date in mind in naming the park. We’re taking our time with the idea of getting it right,” Mayor Bruce Tabb said. “We recognize this is an unprecedented time in our history. For this reason, we ask for people to reflect on our community, and let us know of additional park names they believe would honor our community’s uniqueness and diversity from a perspective of the past, present and future.”

The city is looking into ways to maximize the space for community use and to expand tourism programming opportunities and decided to purchase the property — the 24,500-square foot lot where the former Wells Fargo Bank drive-through and the Rotary Pavilion. The city secured $400,000 dedicated from the Lodging Tax Capital Grant Program and the remaining $399,000 from cash balance in the city’s Park Acquisition Fund.

“Right now, we have 105 nominations. Several are duplicated, but there are around 30 separate names,” Parks and Recreation director Brad Case said. “The commission will determine a name with the reasons behind that decision. We’ll meet again in March, and go through the names and come up with a selection for the city council approval.”

Naming the Downtown Park went before the council in September last year, but no definitive name was approved and it went back to the commission for further development.

“The reason it came back to the commission was to receive a wider range of names,” Case said. “There is a lot wider variety to choose from.”

During the city council discussion back in September, council member Tristen Lamb said, “We don’t get a lot of opportunities to name parks every day. The city has a chance to highlight our achievements in the area of equity and inclusion. I think we have an opportunity to move in that direction.”

Case said the original time frame for the park creation was fall of 2021, but it looks like it might be pushed back.

“We will not be completing the park this year,” he said. “We have money to remove the drive-through structure, creating more open area for event organizers to work with. We have funding to do that part of the project for 2021, but as right now, that is the only thing we have scheduled.”

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