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Children flood Sycamore Park District with name suggestions

SYCAMORE – Sycamore Park District leaders didn’t expect to get 65 suggestions for a name for Sycamore’s new park.

Originally, the Citizens Advisory Committee members were expecting to narrow the entries to name the 5½-acre park in the Sycamore Creek subdivision down to three from about a dozen submitted. But when members saw the number of entries at the contest deadline of Nov. 8, they decided to select about six among themselves before submitting them to the park district board for approval. 

“I made the executive decision that we broaden the pool a bit,” said Scott Buzzard, chairman of the district’s advisory committee.

The committee is tasked with judging the entries and suggesting a winner to board members. Committee members met Thursday morning to discuss the entries. 

Some of the entries include Peace Park, Wally Thurow Pumpkin Park, Orange Leaf Park, Sycamore Nature Park and Kishwaukee Park, according to the submissions gathered by Bart Desch, the park district’s superintendent of recreation. 

District leaders decided to hold a naming contest for children in kindergarten through sixth grade in Sycamore School District 427 and St. Mary’s Catholic School. Children were asked to pitch a name based on Sycamore’s history and justify their decision with a short essay. 

“The [park district board members] feel it’s really important to get the public involved in the whole process and in a fun way, too,” Desch said.

The first place winner will receive $1,000 in savings bonds while second and third place winners receive $500 in savings bonds, according to a news release. 

The park is the latest addition to the 18 parks owned by the district, Desch said. He said there are no plans yet for the park’s development. The park will be deeded to the district by the Sycamore Creek Homeowners Association, which pursued the park after the developer went out of business. 

Committee members also intend to verify the historical accuracy of the names after they narrow them down.

“We’re pretty sure they probably are,” said Dan Gibble, the district’s executive director, “because one school in particular went out of their way to emphasize Sycamore history and then work with their kids to do those submissions.”

What’s next

The Citizens Advisory Committee will choose the finalists Jan. 8. Park commissioners will decide the name Jan. 28.

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