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Residents can name Woodbury parks

Parents know how hard it is to choose names. Imagine, then, what it might be like for the City of Woodbury, when it comes to selecting names for some of its parks. 

That’s why the city is turning to residents for help in choosing names for some of the community’s newest park areas.

Through Wednesday, Nov. 25, the City of Woodbury is accepting suggestions for the sites now known around city hall as the Dale Road Open Space, Dale Woods, Valley Creek Open Space, and Stonemill Farms North Park.

The idea, Woodbury Parks Director Bob Klatt said, is to get the residents of Woodbury involved in the community, and to hopefully get folks out to visit and use these new park areas. 

“All four of the sites are not all that well known within the community,” he said. “We would like people to check them out, and try out the locations.”

Most of the city’s parks are named after the developments where the parks are located, or after adjacent lakes or roads, Klatt said. In some cases, when the city acquired the lands, the property came with an agreement to name the park after the previous owner or by the previous owner’s request. 

While this is not the first time the city of Woodbury has turned to the community for a naming contest, it is the first in a couple of decades — the last time, Klatt said, was when Bielenberg Sports Center was named, sometime around 1994.

However, Klatt said the city may ask for suggestions for names from residents again in the future. Either way, he said, the option of asking for resident input on park names has now been added to the city’s park-naming process.

Park name suggestions can be made in a couple of ways, Woodbury Communications Coordinator Jason Egerstrom said. Residents can fill out suggestion forms available at Bielenberg Sports Center, Central Park, or Woodbury City Hall, or they can go to the city’s website to fill out the forms. 

Suggestions should come from residents ages 18 or older, or from those younger residents, with the proper permissions signed by a parent or legal guardian. 

In order to facilitate the project, the city formed the Park Lands and Recreational Facilities Naming Commission in September. The committee is made up of Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens, Planning Commission member Al Rudnickas, Dick Fields of the Woodbury Heritage Society, Parks and Natural Resources Commission member Lilly Riordan, Woodbury City Councilmember Amy Scoggins, Woodbury City Administrator Clint Gridley, and Woodbury Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Mike Adams. 

The commission will evaluate all of the naming suggestions that are submitted, then create a list of finalist names for each site. Ultimately, the Woodbury City Council will be asked to select and approve the park names. 

And then, the fun begins. The sites start to take on a certain identity, in that the newly named parks can be added to the city’s park inventory, and new signage can be ordered for the locations. In some cases, planning for future amenities can begin. 

The folks who contribute the names that are selected will be recognized at a Woodbury City Council meeting, too. The winners’ names and pictures will be featured in the city’s print publications and on the city’s website, as well as in cable television programming and social media accounts. 

Not only that, but naming a park could bring a certain amount of bragging rights. 

“If you get to name a park, how cool is that?” Egerstrom said. “To know, years from now, that you named that park? I would think that would be pretty cool.”

About the parks

Located off of Dale Road, a 1/2 mile east of Cottage Grove Drive, the Dale Road Open Space covers about 110 acres of land. It is also home to Woodbury’s only off-leash dog area, and has about 2.5 miles of natural surface trails with benches, a pole barn and picnic tables, pet watering stations, and portable restrooms. The site has other amenities, so the city prefers that name submissions do not include the words “dog park.”

The Dale Woods area covers about 65 acres of land acquired from Dale Properties. The property is located about a 1/2 mile south of Hudson Road, and includes a hardwood forest, wetlands, and 2.5 miles of natural, unpaved trails.

The“Valley Creek Open Space is located north of Valley Creek Road and west of Manning Avenue. The 30-acre site will be home to a future community park with utilities, parking and trails. 

The Stonemill Farms North Park space abuts the Valley Creek Open Space, and the two parks will be developed as one area. Stonemill Farms North Park covers about 100 acres of land, and is located south of Valley Creek Road, east of Wildflower Lane, and north of Balsam Way. 

For more information on the park descriptions and plans, or to find out how to submit a name, visit the city’s website, ci.woodbury.mn.us, and click the “City seeks names for park lands in Woodbury” link on the upper right side of the page.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

(651) 702-0974
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