As the Hannibal park system grows, so will the need for names for the new rec areas.
Andy Dorian, director of the Hannibal Parks & Recreation Department, says not every piece of flood-buyout property that his department will soon oversee will warrant a name.
“That’s something we’re really going to have to look at,” he said. “South Main doesn’t have a name. Neither does the Display Center or the site next to Dulany Park. Those are definitely ones we want to name. I don’t know that we would name the Bubba’s site. I think what we’ll end up doing there is not giving it a name and letting it be grassland.
“We will actually name something if it is a legitimate park, like a Huckleberry Park. If we’re just going to reforest it and put some trees on it, it’s just going to be park land.”
At the November park planning meeting it was recommended a park be named after the late James V. O’Donnell, an ardent supporter of the Parks Department before his death in February 2003.
“The Jimmy O’Donnell thing is definitely going to happen,” said Dorian. “We are probably going to take Chris Walton and Conley back down and move them to fields, too. One of the fields that we’re building will have ‘Conley Field’ back on it.”
Some new parks may not be named after a person.
“We’re not necessarily looking at naming it after someone either. Like South Main or South Side Recreation, there’s no reason we have to name it after someone. We could just name it (South Side Recreation) River Bluff Park. We’re looking at all different options,” said Dorian. “You don’t get to name a park every day. We want to make sure and do a thorough search.”
Selling naming rights
Consideration may be given to selling park naming rights.
“It’s a trend in parks and recreation across the country to look at things such as naming rights. If there was a situation where a large donor wanted to come forward, we would definitely look at the possibility of doing that,” said Dorian.
Even if someone secures naming rights, the moniker they select will have to be “within reason,” stresses the Parks Department director.
“There’s no set criteria, but vulgarities and things like that would not be accepted. It’s something that would get voted on at the Park Board level and get approved at the Council level,” said Dorian.
Page 2 of 2 - A decision would have to be made if naming rights are forever or for a set amount of time.
“You’d have to look at the amount of money donated. I think for a naming right for an actual park you’d have to be talking some significant money,” said Dorian. “It’s not something we’ve looked at in detail. We’ll have to look at what other park systems are doing. Do they (naming rights) have a five-year, 10-year or 15-year life span? That’s if someone would donate a large sum of money. As of right now we don’t foresee that happening. It would be fantastic if it did.”
One doesn’t have to have deep pockets to suggest a park name.
“We’ll take any options the public would like to give,” said Dorian.
Consideration is being given to further involve the public in the naming process.
“We’ve talked about the idea of taking one of the parks and doing some kind of naming contest, where we open it up to the public. We’d take suggestions and vote on the best one. Whoever won would get a family pool pass or something like that,” said Dorian. “That’s something we definitely want to look at, too. That gets the public involved. It’s their park. I think that would be a neat thing.”