PITTSBORO — Pittsboro’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PARAB) is looking for citizen suggestions for the new name for the Pittsboro park under construction at the Vineyard Park …
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PITTSBORO — Pittsboro’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PARAB) is looking for citizen suggestions for the new name for the Pittsboro park under construction at the Vineyard Park community off Thompson Street.
The town has asked PARAB to have its recommendations in by August 18. At the same time PARAB Chairman Stephanie Bass said she and the board have been working with civic organizations and the Chatham Historical Association to come up with a list that falls under guidelines set by the Pittsboro Board of Commissioners.
Bass is also urging residents to email PARAB at firstname.lastname@example.org with possible names, history on insights that may influence the name recommendations.
At the commissioners’ July 27 meeting, the board approved a policy for naming parks. The policy was developed and quickly passed as a result of the approval of the first of seven parks to be built by Chatham Park; those parks will eventually be turned over to the town to be used as public parks. With the first park at the Vineyard Park community set to be complete within the next couple of months, the board is moving quickly to decide on a name so that signage will be ready for the parks opening.
The policy’s four criteria for naming include:
• based on historical significance of the area
• based on the natural significance of the area
• a deceased person of great character and significance to the area
• a living person of exceptional character and significance of the area
The policy notes that in the case of a person, the full name of the person will be the official name though it may be referred to casually as only the last name. The policy also says that while “philanthropic gifts are appreciated” they should not be considered for naming.
The top two or three suggestions of PARAB will be presented to the town board, which will ultimately decide on the final name. In addition, the town reserves the right to rename or remove a name of a facility “at its discretion.”
Though PARAB is working with organizations and the Chatham Historical Association, Bass wants to make sure the public is aware it is working on recommendations for the park.
“This is their park, not just for that neighborhood,” Bass said. “It’s for everyone in Pittsboro.”
Bass said her board is looking for suggestions that “connect to Chatham or Pittsboro in some way” or of “someone of accomplishment here.”
“It’ll say this belongs to us,” she said.
The Chatham Historical Association has been culling through research that’s already been done on the property and the knowledge of its members to make recommendations about names.
“Some members are very familiar with site and families that lived there and geographical features that were there,” Bass said.
With all the work the group has already put into the process, they are still hoping to hear more from the general public.
“We would really like to get a sense of the connection to that specific site, but we’ve also been given very good names that are not connected to that site,” Bass said. “We want to be sure people have chance to tell what they know and bring out the history they are aware of. But we need them to do it as soon as possible.”
Pittsboro residents can send their comments, suggestions and questions to PARAB via its email email@example.com.
Casey Mann can be reached at CaseyMann@Chathamnr.com.