The Sammamish City Council was prepared to give SE 8th Street Park a new, permanent name during its Feb. 19 meeting, but drew a blank.
A committee consisting of land donor Mary Pigott and others from the city staff, council and community whittled choices down to four for the council’s review. The list included Backyard Trails Park, Sammamish Backyard Park, Sammamish Trails Park and Owl Pond Park.
“Something like Soaring Eagle Park has an action word in it that really captures the essence of what we’re all about,” councilmember Nancy Whitten said. “I don’t feel any of these names do that, and this is going to be something that’s with us for a long time.”
Others on the council agreed the names weren’t ideal.
They did, however, come to a consensus on a name from a previous list — Big Rock Park.
“It was the favorite of the school children, it was the favorite of everybody,” said Tom Vance, the lone councilmember on the naming committee.
The name was scratched from the list because the city of Duvall already has Big Rock Park, which violates parameters set by Piggot. Under her rules, park names cannot conflict with names of places or parks in surrounding communities.
The name would certainly be fitting as site A, a 16-acre piece of land opened to the public in 2011, has a rock on the property named “Big Rock.”
Councilmember John Curley offered alternative suggestions, like switching “rock” to “boulder,” or possibly adding letters.
“Can you add the ‘er’ and make it ‘Bigger’,” he asked, jokingly.
Ultimately, the council asked Parks Director Jessi Bon to take the name “Big Rock Park,” back to Pigott for consideration to see if it is a possibility.
“We will have a better Big Rock Park than Duvall does,” city manager Ben Yazici said.
Over the past months, they asked residents to suggest new park names online, at the library and at farmers markets. School children also offered several of the 101 name suggestions.
Pigott donated 51 acres of park land to the city in 2010. Two more sites, totaling 35 acres, will open to the public in the coming years.