Citizens Propose New Park Name In Community Survey

BERLIN –  Berlin Falls Park could soon be known as Heron Park if town officials act on a recommendation from a citizen committee.

The Berlin Falls Park Advisory Committee will approach the Berlin Town Council July 8 to recommend that Berlin Falls Park be renamed Heron Park. The recommendation comes after Heron Park received the most votes in a community survey.

“We’d like to thank everybody who took the time to complete the survey,” said Jack Orris, vice chair of the advisory committee.

The advisory committee offered the community the chance to complete a brief online survey to provide input on the park’s name. The survey, which was online for two months, closed June 14. Advisory committee members reviewed survey results at the committee’s June 20 meeting.

“There were 102 respondents and 73% of them were residents of the town,” Orris said. “That’s a nice response from residents.”

Twenty respondents selected Heron Park from among the list of options for the park’s name. Orris said the committee liked the idea of a nature-themed name for the park and survey responders had as well.

“You can always see a heron there,” Orris said. “In the end Heron Park seemed to fit the best.”

Survey results revealed that nine people voted for Berlin Falls Park, two people voted for Legacy Park, three people voted for Adventure Park, 20 voted for Heron Park, three voted for Pride Park, three voted for Boulevard Park and none voted for Berlin Nature Preserve. Of the 102 respondents, 61 chose none of the proffered names and said they wanted a different name for the park. Some of the recommendations they submitted included “For Sale” (submitted by 12 people), “James Tingle People’s Park” (submitted by eight people) and “Higher Taxes For a Property We Can’t Afford Park” (submitted by three people).

On July 8, the committee will present its recommendation to rename the park to the council. Town Administrator Laura Allen said the town would follow its naming policy and schedule the requisite public hearing to provide citizens with a chance to comment.

Orris said committee members were pleased with the interest the survey had received from community members. He said that in addition to proceeding with the name recommendation the committee had also recently agreed to move forward with installing benches in the park. The committee, which beginning in July will meet every other month, is also seeking bids from companies interested in designing an amphitheater for the park. Orris stressed the committee was exploring the costs associated with the design of such a facility.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.