Stillwater’s new riverside park gets official name

City council conceives of name to celebrate town’s logging era.

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View from the new “Lumberjack Landing.” (Greg Seitz/St. Croix 360)

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.

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15 responses to “Stillwater’s new riverside park gets official name”

  1. DONALD JOB Avatar
    DONALD JOB

    great name, goes along with the history of the Valley, I like recognizing the lumberjacks came down the river and made a turn south from that point!!!

  2. David Swanson Avatar
    David Swanson

    Was there ever a landing on the site?
    Just curious . . .

  3. Tracy Avatar
    Tracy

    Ugh. Imagination much? Yawn. Nope. Super disappointed in Lumberjack Landing. Sounds like a toddler theme park. Also disappointed the Council chose to disregard the input from Parks & Recreation Committee. IMHO you need to honor the process, even if the resulting suggestions are not your personal favorite. I, for one, would like to recognize more in the history of Stillwater than the lumberjack era – because there is so much more.

  4. Doug Seitz Avatar
    Doug Seitz

    I’m with you, Greg. I’d love to have seen it named after the oldest residents of the area, the Oneotas. We owe it to them for all we took from them. And the lumberjack era lasted what, 30-40 years? Enough with lumberjacks.

  5. Bob Steinmetz Avatar
    Bob Steinmetz

    Great name!

  6. Luann Kleppe Avatar
    Luann Kleppe

    Greg…. I liked pretty much all of your name suggestions much better than lumberjack.
    I like when nature areas are named after, well… Nature…ie: trees, animals, special natural features.

  7. Karen Engelbretson Avatar

    Names, such as Greg’s suggestions and those associated with nature or Indigenous culture would be more appropriate and better suit the donor’s intention for the property. The new naming is unfortunate. Lumberjack Landing invokes thoughts of rowdy events with axes and log rolling instead.

  8. Sam Karam Avatar
    Sam Karam

    How many “Riverside Parks” must there be in the U.S.? Surely hundreds! Lumberjack Landing feels right as shoepacs in winter.

  9. Dave Pauley Avatar
    Dave Pauley

    How about “STILL WATERS”

  10. Mary Jo Avatar

    I much prefer your ideas and names Greg. But I’m not surprised the folks in charge chose otherwise.

  11. Matt McGuire Avatar
    Matt McGuire

    Brilliant!
    but also- I think there is huge opportunity to include native culture in interpretive information moving forward. I’ve noticed an increasing number of public Land Acknowledgement statements – a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of the land.

  12. Darren Avatar
    Darren

    My vote is for Mashenomak Park 🙂

    1. martyharding1 Avatar

      What’s the translation?

  13. Lynn Avatar
    Lynn

    Yuck. Native or natural names much more suitable to Stillwater.

  14. Nolan Barrios Avatar
    Nolan Barrios

    Well I suppose we could also call it River Pig Park or Haunted Landings, Wonder if the donor had any requests? Perhaps a fundraiser which includes a donation to the City or to our non-profits for a name submission. Perhaps eliciting the schools to research the history of the town – all of its history and come up with recommendations. Perhaps referencing the Old Stone Bridge “Old Stone Park”, “Point Park”, “Browns Creek Landing”.

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Stillwater’s new riverside park gets official name