LINCOLN CITY — The Lincoln City City Council on Monday decided on a Chinook name for the new city park at Northeast Third Street and Keel Avenue.
Prior to Monday’s meeting, City Manager Ron Chandler and Parks and Recreation Director Jeanne Sprague had winnowed 83 entries in a naming contest held last year down to six top choices.
David Jamieson, Park and Recreation Board chair, told the council the two most popular names among the six were Osprey Park, inspired by the relocation of an osprey nest to a site just adjacent to the new recreation area, and Nesika Park, which received the most votes. In the Chinook Wawa dialect, nesika means “our” or “ours.”
Sprague said she’d spoken with a representative from the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, who had no objections to the name but wanted to ensure the translation and pronunciation were correct. The original entry mistranslated nesika as “our place,” and the word is pronounced with a long “I” — as in fire — Sprague explained.
Councilor Riley Hoagland made a motion to approve the name Nesika Park, which was seconded by Councilor Diana Hinton.
Councilor Rick Mark said he’d Googled the word and found that there was a gun manufacturer of the same name, which gave him pause.
“In light of the reaction from the Siletz, I think that’s less of a problem, but if I can just say, I, myself, was leaning toward osprey, if only because I had two constituents express their preference for that, so that would probably be my vote right now,” Mark said.
Councilor Judy Casper also said she’d heard from constituents in favor of naming the park for the nearby resident sea birds. She and Mark voted no, and the motion carried four to two.
Work on the park began in summer of last year with the thinning of trees that were chipped to create mulch for the park’s trails, which lead to a story circle with log seating and a nature play area.
The park was originally funded through a $30,000 Meet Me in the Park Play Spaces grant, a partnership between the National Recreation and Park Association and the Walt Disney Co.
The city will hold a public session at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, in the Lincoln City Community Center to provide updates on the park, including conceptual drawings and projected timelines for future development. Sprague said future improvements being considered include more trails and play areas and the addition of a dog park.