The park formerly known as “the Aiple property” on the north end of Stillwater was named by the city council recently. At its March 2 meeting, the council reviewed a list of five suggestions from the Parks and Recreation Committee.
The recommended names were Riverside, Old Mill, Zephyr, Gateway, and Tamarack, with the committee preferring simply “Riverside Park.”
The council members rejected all the recommendations and picked their own. Pohlena ran through the ideas besides Riverside and explained why he didn’t think they would work. While the first tamarack log house in the region was located near the site historically, today there’s no house, and no tamarack trees. Zephyr only referred to the dinner train that ran by the park location for about 30 years. Old Mill was seen as generic, which is also why the council didn’t like “Riverside.”
“We’re better than that from a unique standpoint, I’d love to see a name that makes you think of Stillwater some,” said council member Dave Junker. “I don’t think of Stillwater at all with Riverside Park.”
In a quick discussion, the council went through each of the five, discussed why they didn’t like them, and brainstormed other ideas. Mayor Ted Kozlowkski was the first to voice “Lumberjack Landing” as an option and quickly brought the rest of the council along.
“That’s Stillwater through and through,” Kozlowski said. “We’re known as a lumber town.”
It passed by a 4-1 vote, with council member Mike Pohlena the only one to vote against it. Pohlena also serves on the Parks and Recreation Committee and said he wanted to support their suggestions.
Kozlowski had solicited park name ideas on Facebook last year. In more than 300 comments, many suggestions were proposed, and it sounds like the Parks and Recreation Committee consulted it. Commenter Matt McGuire suggested “Lumberjack Landing” at that time.
Full disclosure, these were my ideas shared with the mayor:
- Oneota Park (a little ways up the St. Croix was the northernmost known settlement of the Oneota people)
- Rookery Park (Great blue heron, egret, and cormorant rookery on the river, visible from property)
- Lakehead Park (it is the beginning of Lake St. Croix)
- Bluffview Park (that vista upstream with the tall bluffs on both sides is just iconic, IMHO)
- Any of the Ojibwe leaders who signed the 1837 treaty with the U.S. that opened up the St. Croix Valley to European immigration: Pe-zhe-ke, or the Buffalo, Ka-be-ma-be, or the Wet Month. Pa-ga-we-we-wetung, Coming Home Hollowing, Ya-banse, or the Young Buck, Kis-ke-ta-wak, or the Cut Ear Warriors.