October 4, 2005
TO: Recreation and Parks Commission
Kathleen Woods, Administrator
RE: Name Change for Eaton Wash Park
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.
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:
location of the park or facility; or
or geological features proximate to the park or facility; or
or historical significance to the City or surrounding neighborhood; or
name of an individual who has made significant contribution to the community,
country, state, or the filed of parks and recreation.
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…”
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.
Parks and Natural Resources