By Chet Orloff,
Oregon Historian and Planner
Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation is inviting residents to submit names for its newest park, a 21.5-acre neighborhood park in Aloha (adjacent Mt. View Middle School) that will open to the public in summer 2017.
A committee has been assembled to help THPRD solicit and review submissions. We are looking for a name that recognizes, commemorates, and honors Washington County's collective history — from the time of the original inhabitants of Tualatin Hills until today — with a name that is respectful, representative and aligns with public support.
We invite you to submit your thoughtful suggestions for a name that:
Represents a long established local relationship and/or attachment to the park, to the human or natural history of Washington County, or to land under or near to the park
Lends dignity to the park for all past, present, and future residents of Washington County
Represents this park’s role as a site for accessible and inclusionary recreation
Represents THPRD’s mission and values as an agency that serves all community members
Avoids any attribution that is derogatory, offensive or otherwise controversial.
As inspiration, here are a few submissions the committee has received:
Four Creations – mythic origins story of the Atfalati Kalapuya. Hence, “Four Creations Park” would reference an important story of the first people of Washington County.
Atfalati - the name of a collection of related but independent villages whose members spoke a dialect of Northern Kalapuya, the northernmost of three languages composing the Kalapuyan language-family. Tualatin is a variant of the word.
Kalapuya – A large language group among whose members were the Atfalati (Tualatin) Indians
Camas – significant food item for Tualatin people.
Wapato – significant food item for Tualatin people.
Chakeipi – variant of the word for beaver in Kalapuyan. Hence, place of the Beaver.
Flippin – James Flippin owned the land claim that makes up part of the new park. He was an early pioneer and the clerk for the Union School District.
Constable – Elizabeth Constable was well-regarded pioneer and midwife.
Atiyeh – Governor Victor Atiyeh.
Tabitha Brown – early pioneer and educator. Called “Mother of Oregon.” Brown assisted in the founding of Tualatin Academy, which would grow to become Pacific University. In a sense, Brown is the mother of education in Oregon.
These are just a fraction of the names we hope to consider. Please send us your submissions by January 15.
We’ll review and consider each one, and submit a short list of recommended names to the district’s Board of Directors. The Board is expected to make the final decision on the park’s name in March 2017.
Chet Orloff sits on THPRD’s naming committee. Orloff is the director emeritus of the Oregon Historical Society. A long-time member of the Oregon Geographic Names board, Orloff helped TriMet choose Tilikum Crossing as the name for Portland’s newest bridge.