Completion of the as-yet-unnamed park was a long time coming. The city acquired the parcel of land at the corner of Northeast 52nd Street and 137th Avenue in two stages — part in 2001 and part in 2010.
In conjunction with the North Image Neighborhood Association, city staffers with the Parks and Recreation department picked the dinosaur theme and finalized a master plan in 2018.
Including the purchase price and development, the total cost was $2.4 million, paid through Park Impact Fees.
“Land is becoming, as you know, very precious,” McEnerny-Ogle said. “This is a great chunk.”
Party in the Parks
Sharon Turk, a Vancouver management analyst and neighborhood liaison for North Image, enjoyed the celebration Thursday evening with her 3-year-old grandson, Taven.
Taven, as he explained breathlessly, spent his time wisely.
“I was going in the sandbox and looking for friends,” he said. “I saw a baby dinosaur tail.”
How big was it? He stretched his hands out as wide as he could go. (Whoa. That’s pretty big.)
This summer, the city is hosting a total of 16 Party in the Parks events at eight different parks across Vancouver, according to Melody Burton, spokeswoman for the Parks and Recreation department.
Eight more are upcoming. For a schedule, visit cityofvancouver.us/ParkParty.
Help pick a name
Now that the park is complete, the next step is to give it a name that honors its history. Recreation Program Manager Dave Perlick explained that the plot of land had once been used as a gathering place for Japanese-Americans and their families.
In the 1920s and 1930s, small truck farmers distributed produce to Vancouver’s grocery stores and markets. Nearly half of those farmers were Japanese-Americans and many grew their food in the North Image neighborhood. Internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II effectively tore that culture apart.
Now, the city is asking residents to help pick between three names that acknowledges and honors that history: Nikkei Park, for the term used to describe Japanese emigrants and their descendants; Nisei Park, for the second-generation Japanese-Americans born in the United States; or Nochi Park, after the Japanese word for farms.
Residents can vote at cityofvancouver.us/parkname.