A nameless patch of green space at the northeast corner of Randolph and Circle was on the verge of shirking its anonymity, but village council members weren’t comfortable with the process used to finally give the park a name. In the hopes of choosing a title that has broad support within the community, elected officials opted during their April 13 meeting not to adopt Cornerstone Park as the official handle for the small common.
“I don’t know that any of our parks have an official name,” Mayor Anthony Calderone said.
Commonly referred to as “north park,” the site has been targeted by public officials in recent years for a number of improvements. In the summer of 2007, crews removed a chain link fence that bordered the parcel and replaced it with a shorter, more attractive fence. It took almost a year before the new fencing was installed, and it circles only the playground equipment rather than the entire lot. Earlier this year, council members voted to solicit bids to install a decorative wall at one corner of the park.
The park is also slated to be the burial site for a time capsule that was part of the village’s centennial celebration.
Members of the recreation board, which helps oversee the town’s green spaces, came up with the name Cornerstone Park as a way to honor the historical significance of the land. The site served as the original location of Forest Park’s first town hall building.
The name would have been engraved onto the new wall as the finishing touch for that project.
“It makes sense to name it Cornerstone Park because that’s the original site of the first village hall,” Jennifer Wolfe, chairwoman of the recreation board said prior to the council’s meeting. “We’re trying to name all of our parks because when your parks don’t have a name, it’s like your whole community doesn’t have an identity.”
It’s true that the handful of municipally-owned parks in Forest Park do not have names. In part, this is why the mayor and others on the council said it would do no harm to delay the process a few more months. The name Cornerstone Park was decided upon by the volunteers on the recreation board, but a majority of council members said residents should have a chance to participate. Students, seniors and everyone in between will likely be encouraged to suggest names for the park in the coming weeks.
Jerry Webster, a member of the recreation board, said Cornerstone Park certainly would be an appropriate title, but he likes the idea of leaving the commons unnamed. It makes the community unique, he said, and residents have developed unofficial names that are generally understood.
“I find it kind of interesting, myself,” Webster said.
Commissioner Marty Tellalian is the council’s liaison to the recreation board. During the April 13 meeting, he asked his colleagues to adopt Cornerstone Park as the official name and ribbed those who said the process has moved too quickly.
“To me, it’s clear now why we don’t have names on our parks,” Tellalian said.