The fast-growing city is set to add about 10 new parks over the next five years.

COURTESY MAP: CITY OF CORNELIUS - The Laurel Woods neighborhood now under construction in the southeastern corner of Cornelius will have a large community park at its center, with plans to include a soccer field.The last time Cornelius set out a naming policy for city parks was more than 20 years ago. So when the Cornelius City Council met Monday, Nov. 5, it agreed to give the policy a refresh.

The new policy states that parks should be named for "natural or cultural features" or "historical events or elements" associated with the park, as in the case of Steamboat Park, named for the steamboats that once traversed the Tualatin River through the modern-day park; after a person who provided "exceptional service" to the parks system or the community or a "contribution or significant gift … of a most extraordinary nature," as in the case of Harleman Park, named for former City Manager Jim Harleman; or after a nearby subdivision or adjoining street, as in the case of Dogwood Park, named after South Dogwood Street.

The city's parks advisory board originally left out the option to name parks after people, whether living or deceased, from its list of recommended guidelines. Those provisions were restored by city staff, with City Manager Rob Drake making the case to keep them.

"I think excluding it just didn't involve enough potential for honoring someone who served the community, especially someone who might have done it selflessly," Drake said. "I would suggest you keep the name option in there, because that may be more valuable in the long run to this community than just naming it for an adjoining street."

The City Council approved the recommended policy 4-0. Councilor Jose Orozco was absent from Monday's meeting.

The policy recommendation was brought forward by Ryan Wells, the city's community development director. Wells has been at the forefront of the city's planning work as subdivisions spring up across Cornelius — most notably the Laurel Woods development in southeast Cornelius, which will have a 6.37-acre park at its center. The city has been requiring that developers set aside parklands for subdivisions of a certain size, in order to ensure that Cornelius' new neighborhoods have a place for outdoor recreation.

"We're going to see our parks inventory grow pretty substantially over the next half a decade or so, to the tune of — off the top of my head — about 10 new city parks," Wells told the council.

The guidelines adopted Monday are intended to provide direction to the city in selecting names for the new parks. The City Council has the final say in naming parks in Cornelius, as Drake noted Monday.

By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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