The Vancouver City Council put to rest a 2-year-old debate Monday night over whether to name a future public park after the couple who donated it, despite the couple’s accidentally offensive name.
Their compromise: Yes, but with a caveat. The 9.5-acre plot of land in northwest Vancouver, donated in 2002 by prolific local philanthropists Ed and Dollie Lynch, will henceforth be known as “Dollie and Ed’s Park.”
Using the couple’s first names circumvents the controversy over naming the park after the Lynches. That prospect had initially drawn protest from the community, especially among people of color.
“We did have community engagement and we reached out to many individuals who had given testimony on this quite some time ago,” Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle said at the virtual city council meeting Monday evening.
Over the last 35 years, the Lynches have donated millions of dollars to various public projects including the Providence Academy preservation and a therapy garden at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. When they died — Dollie in 2010, Ed in 2015 — they left 98 percent of their sizable estate to local causes and charities. The Community Foundation of Southwest Washington continues to dole out grants on their behalf.