By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
The Quincy Park District is looking for your help.
With the Park District set to relocate its administrative offices to the old River's Edge building on Bonansinga Drive later this year, a new park will be developed on the 12 acres that was part of the transaction to buy the property.
The Quincy Park Board is expected to approve a plan at Wednesday's monthly board meeting that will give the public a voice in what the new park is called.
"We're asking if anyone has any good ideas," Executive Director Ed Seger said.
Seger said the first priority would be naming the new park after someone who has a direct link to parks and recreation in Quincy. That has already been done with other parks. The last time a park was named in Quincy was in 2008, when Bob Mays, who served as a Park Board commissioner for more than 30 years and also was on the park foundation's board, was honored by having Bob Mays Park on North 18th Street named after him.
Mays was the last member of the group known as the "Long Board" made up of people who served as Park Board commissioners from 1947 to 1976, to be honored. Other Long Board members to have parks or facilities named after them are Robert G. Bangert, Derrick "Boots" Bush, G. Arthur Keller and Don Kesler.
Seger said anyone who suggests the name of a local person for the park should include some background about the person and the tie-in to Quincy parks and recreation. Seger said the park could also be named based on its geographic location or after a historic group, event or person.
The Park District plans on taking suggestions through February. A committee will select the best three to five name suggestions and will present them for review at the March board meeting. Park District staff will help assist in the name review process.
In March or April, the Park Board will select the final name and a 60-day public comment period will begin. The final vote on the name is expected to take place at the June or July board meeting.
Seger said building the new park will be a deliberate process. He said the first step would be to grow grass on the property.
"We'll probably start slow," he said. "We need to come up with a master plan. Right now, we are focused on getting the building done."
The Park District closed on the $875,000 purchase of the River's Edge complex in October. The district has had its headquarters in the Emerson Community Center since 1978, first leasing the space before buying the building from the Quincy School District in 1980.
Seger said there are no plans right now to name the new headquarters building.