Metro Parks asks public to help rename East Side playfield

Tacoma News TribuneJanuary 16, 2014 

Amari Samuels, 4, of Tacoma does the limbo under streams of water June 6, 2013, at the McKinley Playfield Spraygrounds in Tacoma. Dean J. Koepfler / Staff Photo

DEAN J. KOEPFLER — The News Tribune Buy Photo

Metro Parks Tacoma has posted an online poll to solicit the public's help in renaming McKinley Playfield, a six-acre park on the East Side that is sometimes confused with the city's bigger McKinley Park.

The park, which now overlooks the Tacoma Dome, was named in 1901 in memory of the recently assassinated President McKinley. The playfield, built on land purchased by Metro Parks, followed 27 years later. Today, it offers sports fields, a playground and sprayground.

Last year, the parks district received a request to rename the playfield to avoid mix-ups. It solicited nominations for a new name, and vetted them with the help of community stakeholders and elementary school students from three East Side schools.

Eleven proposals emerged from that process. They include names honoring such locals as former City Councilman Dave DeForrest, pastor and advocate for the poor Ron Vignec, and former Tacoma Fire Capt. and community booster Joel E. Odegard. Another suggestion would commemorate President McKinley's wife, Ida, and a couple of others would incorporate Eastside into the name.

Votes can be cast until Jan. 31.

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