The Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Commission has recommended names for the four new city parks that will be developed in the 122-acre Highland Bridge development on the site of Ford Motor Company’s former assembly plant in Highland Park.
The city had solicited suggestions for the park names from the public. Ninety-three individuals and groups responded with a total of 302 suggestions. The proposed names were reviewed by city staff, a group of Native Americans and the Parks and Recreation Youth Commission, all of whom made their own recommendations. The City Council will have the final say.
Recommended by the Parks and Rec Commission were the following names:
• Gateway Park for Park A, the open space near Ford Parkway and Mississippi River Boulevard.
• Assembly Union Park for Park B, the open space in the west-central portion of Highland Bridge, in a nod to the 86-year history (1925-2011) of the Ford Plant and the United Auto Workers who worked there.
• Uŋči Mak’a (pronounced oon-CHEE mah-KAH) Park for Park C in the southwestern portion of the site. The name translates as “mother earth” in the Dakota language, reflecting the area’s early history as home to the Dakota tribe.
• Míča (pronounced MEE-cha) Park for Park D in the southeastern portion of the site. Míča is an abbreviation for “coyote” in the Dakota language, and coyote sightings have been common in the area. The park will remain largely undeveloped due to its wetlands and steep slope.
The Parks and Recreation Department will hold a virtual open house about the future of the city parks in the Highland Bridge development from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 20. The link will be live at 5:50 p.m. To join the meeting, visit bit.ly/3m8imi1 and download the Cisco Webex app or Chrome extension.
— Jane McClure
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