The 2.5-acre wooded area formerly known as the Haub property officially was renamed Soundview Forest by the Gig Harbor City Council on Feb. 25, 2019.
Some thought was given to naming the new park, which was purchased for $2.5 million, Heron Forest, as great blue herons have been thought to nest on the property. The land also contains 100-year-old trees.
But Soundview Forest carried a majority.
Council received 264 name suggestions from the public, some of which played off the fact the city battled for some time to acquire the property. In spring 2018, the Ben B. Cheney Foundation worked with a previous City Council to develop the area into 35 dwelling units in 10 townhouse-style structures on the upland triangular side of the property, with three single-family dwellings on the waterfront.
Council member Spencer Hutchins found some suggested names very clever.
“There’s a lot of humor,” Hutchins said. “‘Not Condos Park’ I thought was a pretty good one. It gave the temperature of the community about this.”
Council members Jeni Woock and Bob Hines supported the Heron Park name.
“There were 264 names that had been presented by the citizens of this community. Eighty-two of those names had the word ‘heron’ in them,” Woock said. “For me I think to honor our citizens who actually did the yeoman’s work at preserving this property, for the citizens who stood up and never gave up, they have respect for the word ‘heron.’ I strongly support including the word ‘heron’ in this name in honor of all of our citizens.”
Mayor Kit Kuhn liked both ideas but sided with the majority of council in wanting the name to be Soundview.
“For me, the name Soundview shows where it is, and it also works with Grandview Forest right next door, then you have Soundview Forest five blocks down,” Kuhn said. “Also if the heron does not come back, even if it’s 20 years from now, the name Heron Forest is then not uplifting to me if you name it after something that isn’t there anymore. I hope (herons always come back), but I would hate the name to be a downer note.”
Council voted and passed the name Soundview Park with a 5-2 vote.