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A Park and Wilson Outdoor Pool Renaming

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A girl in a black swimsuit sits at the top of the water slide at Wilson Pool.
PP&R has launched a community process to identify new names for A Park and Wilson Outdoor Pool in southwest Portland.

PP&R (Parques y Recreación de Portland) ha empezado un proceso comunitario para identificar nuevos nombres para A Park y Wilson Outdoor Pool en el suroeste de Portland.
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Naming Process Updates

June 2023

New signage has been installed at Ida B. Wells Outdoor Pool for the summer season. The A Park naming process has been on hold while PP&R contracts with Native/Indigenous community outreach consultants to lead engagement to advise on a permanent name for A Park.

Green parks sign that reads Ida B Wells outdoor pool

December 2022

Portrait in black and white of Ida B. Wells Barnett. She has her hair in a bun and is wearing a lacy shirt with a collar.

The Naming Committee has recommended Ida B. Wells-Barnett Outdoor Pool as the new pool name, and Director Long and Commissioner Rubio have accepted the committee’s recommendation. 

“It is a joy to have such a popular recreational facility now bear the name of a noted civil rights activist, Ida B. Wells-Barnett,” said Commissioner Rubio. “This is the first Portland Parks & Recreation facility or park on the west side to honor a woman of color, a historic and significant step. This has been a gratifying start to a process of renaming some sites and facilities to better reflect our community’s values and inclusiveness.”

Community input and discussions resulted in support of Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931) because of her significant legacy and service as an American journalist, civil rights activist, educator, and researcher. She was known for her leadership in speaking out against lynching and for fighting for women’s suffrage. She spoke and wrote to President Wilson in protest of segregation and discriminatory hiring practices. The committee recognized the significant engagement process undertaken by the students and staff of Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School in selecting their name.

“This is a key moment to reintroduce a popular community gathering place in a way that welcomes all Portlanders,” said Director Long. “The new name is a nod to the importance of Ida B. Wells-Barnett's work and legacy, and it honors a trail blazer who, frankly, deserves greater recognition. Commissioner Rubio and I thank the community members who worked thoroughly and passionately on this renaming process.”

It was very important to committee members that Ida B. Wells-Barnett be honored similarly to other PP&R facilities where the pool, park, and adjacent school all share the same name (such as Grant Pool, Park, and High School and the former Wilson High School and Pool). As a woman of color, the committee reasoned, Ms. Wells-Barnett should be given the same honor as white male leaders.  

The concurrent process for renaming “A Park” is ongoing. Further consultation from local Native and Indigenous communities is being planned. An announcement will be made when a new permanent name for A Park is approved. 

Read the full press release here


Naming Process Update - November 2022

Over the summer, PP&R led a community engagement effort to gather new name ideas for A Park and Wilson Outdoor Pool in southwest Portland. We made contact with over 500 people at in-person events across the city, and over 273 people submitted ideas during the submission period of July 5 - August 22, 2022. 

These ideas are being reviewed by the committee of community members appointed to make recommendations for new names for A Park and Wilson Outdoor Pool. We anticipate new names will be announced in Winter 2023. 

Read More About What We Heard

A log sits in bark chips, with a green open lawn behind it and tall trees.

Overview

Parks Director Adena Long has directed staff to conduct a joint renaming process for “A” Park and Wilson Outdoor Pool, following the PP&R Policy for Naming of Parks, Natural Areas, Recreational Facilities, and Regional Trails (“Naming Policy”). 

An ad hoc committee has been appointed by Director Long to review naming suggestions from the community following the process outlined in the Naming Policy. The committee will make a recommendation for new names for A Park and Wilson Outdoor Pool to Director Long and Parks Commissioner Carmen Rubio for their approval.


Visión General

La Directora de Parques, Adena Long, ha dirigido al personal que lleve a cabo un proceso conjunto de cambio de nombre para "A" Park y Wilson Outdoor Pool, siguiendo la Política de PP&R para el Nombramiento de Parques, Áreas Naturales, Instalaciones Recreativas y Senderos Regionales ("Política de Nombres").

La Directora Long ha nombrado un comité para revisar las sugerencias de nombres de la comunidad siguiendo el proceso descrito en la Política de Nombres. El comité hará una recomendación para nuevos nombres para A Park y Wilson Outdoor Pool a la Directora Long y a la Comisionada de Parques Carmen Rubio para su aprobación.


Naming Committee Members  | Miembros Del Comité De Nombramiento

SandeBea Allman, Don Baack, Bettina Barrera, Sergio Barrera, Kelsey Bowers, Dr. C.N.E. Corbin, Doug Decker, Rachelle Dixon, Sumayo Hassan, Chung-Huey (Nina) Kung, JR Lilly, and Amanda Squiemphen-Yaazie.

The Naming Committee's next meeting will be in November on Zoom. If you would like to attend as an audience member, contact Maija Spencer at maija.spencer@portlandoregon.gov.  


Naming Committee Meeting Notes


Project Schedule

  • July 8, 2022 - August 22, 2022: Call for name suggestions from the community
  • Fall 2022: Naming committee review of name submissions and development of name recommendations
  • Winter 2022/23: Approval of recommendations by Director Long and Commissioner Rubio
  • Early 2023: Announcement of new names, installation of new signage

Cronograma Del Proyecto

  • 8 de julio de 2022 - 22 de agosto de 2022: Convocatoria de sugerencias de nombres de la comunidad
  • Otoño de 2022: Revisión del comité de nombres de las presentaciones de nombres y desarrollo de recomendaciones de nombres
  • Invierno 2022/23: Aprobación de las recomendaciones de la Directora Long y la Comisionada Rubio
  • Principios de 2023: Anuncio de nuevos nombres, instalación de nueva señalización

Project Background

In December 2020, the park located at SW 21st Avenue and Capitol Hill Road, previously known as Custer Park, was given the temporary name of “A Park” by retired former Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. Commissioner Fritz referenced the legacy of the park’s previous namesake, George Armstrong Custer, a historical figure known for his violent actions against Indigenous peoples and his wartime defeat during the Battle of Little Big Horn. She directed PP&R to engage in a community-supported naming process to determine an appropriate permanent name.

In January 2021, Portland Public Schools announced a new name for Woodrow Wilson High School after a community naming process. Former President Wilson was known to have racist and segregationist views. The new school name is Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School, honoring a Black female journalist and civil rights advocate. Wilson Outdoor Pool, located at 1151 SW Vermont Street, is a PP&R-managed facility separate from the school, so PP&R committed to conducting our own name change process for the pool.


Antecedentes Del Proyecto

En diciembre de 2020, el parque ubicado en SW 21st Avenue y Capitol Hill Road, anteriormente conocido como Custer Park, recibió el nombre temporal de "A Park" por la ex comisionada de parques Amanda Fritz. La comisionada Fritz hizo referencia al legado del homónimo anterior del parque, George Armstrong Custer, una figura histórica conocida por sus acciones violentas contra los pueblos indígenas y su derrota en tiempos de guerra durante la Batalla de Little Big Horn. Ella ordenó a PP&R que participara en un proceso de nomenclatura apoyado por la comunidad para determinar un nombre permanente apropiado.

En enero de 2021, las Escuelas Públicas de Portland anunciaron un nuevo nombre para Woodrow Wilson High School después de un proceso de nombramiento comunitario. Se sabía que el ex presidente Wilson tenía puntos de vista racistas y segregacionistas. El nuevo nombre de la escuela es Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School, en honor a una periodista negra y defensora de los derechos civiles. Wilson Outdoor Pool, ubicada en 1151 SW Vermont Street, es una instalación administrada por PP&R separada de la escuela, por lo que PP&R se comprometió a llevar a cabo nuestro propio proceso de cambio de nombre para la piscina.

Contact

Maija Spencer (she, they)

Senior Community Engagement Coordinator

Carolyn Lee

Equity & Inclusion Coordinator

Location

Park Location or Entrance
1151 SW Vermont Street
Portland, OR 97219

A Park

Park
Park Location or Entrance
SW 21st Avenue and Capitol Hill Road
Portland, OR 97219