DATE:   October 4, 2005

                       

TO:        Recreation and Parks Commission

           

FROM:  Kathleen Woods, Administrator

 

RE:        Name Change for Eaton Wash Park

 

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: 

It is recommended that the Recreation and Parks Commission recommend to the City Council a change in name from Eaton Wash Park to Viña Vieja Park.

BACKGROUND:

During the planning stages and development of Eaton Wash Park which is under construction at 2036 East Orange Grove Blvd., several members of the neighborhood surrounding the park have expressed to staff concerns that the name “Eaton Wash” is somewhat confusing. They support a change in name because there are two other parks in Pasadena with “Eaton” in their names: Eaton Sunnyslope Park and Eaton Blanche Park. In addition, there is another significant park in the area, Eaton Canyon Park located in nearby Altadena.

As more discussion of the existing name continued, the neighbors indicated they would like a name that offers historical significance to the area surrounding the park. Some neighbors have ties back to the days before the northern portion was developed and remember the area where the park is now located was referred to as “La Viña”, because the vacant land had remnants of grape vines. The memories of the vineyard in this area and the children playing in “La Viña”, gave life to the now recommended name of Viña Vieja Park, which means the old vineyard. This new name provides a unique name for the park while providing the historical significance sought by the surrounding neighbors.

Staff has received additional recommendations to consider as potential names for the new park. The first of which is Twombly Park in honor of Fred Eugene Twombly, a pioneer of Pasadena. Diana Twombly has presented the history of her great grandfather, Fred Twombly, at past Recreation and Parks Commission which highlited his career in Pasadena with a membership on the original Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Mr. Twombly was a City Trustee as well as a City Councilmember, where his significant contribution was launching the Municipal Water Supply for Pasadena. Recognizing his significance in Pasadena, the Department of Water and Power named a well located just to the south of the new park in his honor in 2003.

Another suggested name that has been received by staff is that of the Alice Frost Kennedy Park. As the Commission members may remember, the off leash area of the park officially bears the name of Alice Frost Kennedy for her significant contribution to the City of Pasadena as a member of the Urban Forestry Advisory Committee, the street tree representative of the Pasadena Beautiful Foundation, and her significant love of animals and financial contribution to the park that will finally bring an off-leash area to one of Pasadena’s parks.

 

Finally, staff has received a suggestion for the park to be named in honor of the historical Orange Groves of Pasadena. This suggestion would see the park named “Orange Grove Park”.

The City of Pasadena’s Public Park and Recreational Facility Naming Policy requires the use of the following criteria in determining the names for city parks and recreational facilities:

 

a.                  Geographical location of the park or facility; or

b.                  Natural or geological features proximate to the park or facility; or

c.                  Cultural or historical significance to the City or surrounding neighborhood; or

d.                  The name of an individual who has made significant contribution to the community, country, state, or the filed of parks and recreation.

 

The policy also requires that “Existing names shall not be subject to change unless… the proposed name is found to be more appropriate that the existing name…”

 

After careful consideration of each proposed name change for Eaton Wash Park, staff finds that Viña Vieja Park best meets the criteria identified in the policy. The name was proposed by Vivian Perez, a 77 year resident of the neighborhood, and was voted overwhelmingly as the top choice of the East Eaton Wash Neighborhood Association, the neighborhood association representing the neighborhood to the east of our new park.

 

 

 

                                                           

                                                            Respectfully submitted:

 

 

 

                                                            ____________________

                                                            Kathleen Woods, Administrator

                                                            Parks and Natural Resources