On the city of Everett’s newest park land, located immediately south of the fenced construction site for the new YMCA, Gary Nelson, of Everett, tosses a ball for his dog, Charlie, 3, Tuesday. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

On the city of Everett’s newest park land, located immediately south of the fenced construction site for the new YMCA, Gary Nelson, of Everett, tosses a ball for his dog, Charlie, 3, Tuesday. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

A couple of names worth memorializing at Everett’s new park

David Dilgard and Helen Jackson were devoted to the city and worked to enliven it.

Everett’s Glacier View neighborhood will soon have its first park, a 1.2-acre space just south of the future YMCA on Colby Avenue. The city wants the public to help name the park, a request that follows the recent loss of two community giants.

David Dilgard and Helen Jackson were dissimilar in some ways, yet they shared much. Both were devoted to Everett, and worked graciously to enliven this place they loved. Naming a city park in honor of either one would be beyond fitting.

For 40 years a history specialist at the Everett Public Library, Dilgard died May 17 at age 73. An Everett native and the undisputed expert on Everett’s past, Dilgard was a crowd-pleasing presenter of school programs, history talks, and tours of downtown and the Evergreen Cemetery. In the library’s Northwest History Room, visitors found him to be ever friendly and helpful, with sometimes surprising stories to tell.

The widow of the late U.S. Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson, Helen Jackson died Feb 24. She was 84. Her legacy reaches far beyond Everett, and includes human rights contributions. She also supported many causes locally, among them the Imagine Children’s Museum. With a master’s degree in English literature from Columbia University, she valued education. For years, at annual receptions, she welcomed to her home high school winners of the Gertrude Jackson Memorial Scholarship.

David Dilgard

David Dilgard

In their own ways, they boosted educational efforts. The new park will be just south of the Y building at 4730 Colby Ave., a site that until a few years ago housed Everett School District headquarters. How apt it would be to see a park named for either Dilgard or Jackson — both so keen on learning.

As of Tuesday morning, 41 people had submitted suggestions for the new park, said Kembra Landry, an assistant planner with the city. The public comment period for the name began Wednesday and will continue through June 7. People are invited to submit proposals online at www.everettwa.gov/parknaming.

Everett’s Linnea Covington said Tuesday that she is among those who have suggested naming the park for Dilgard. “That’s so appropriate,” she said.

A public hearing with the Everett Historical Commission is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 26 in the Hearing Room of the Wall Street Building. The commission will review the proposed names and comments, and make a recommendation to the City Council, Landry said.

“The Mayor, City Council member or any citizen or interested group may request the naming or renaming of a city building, facility, structure, park, public place, natural feature or street,” Everett’s naming policy says.

Helen Jackson atttends Naval Station Everett’s 10th anniversary celebration April 8, 2004. (Dan Bates / Herald file)

Helen Jackson atttends Naval Station Everett’s 10th anniversary celebration April 8, 2004. (Dan Bates / Herald file)

In the case of a place being named for an individual, that person need not be deceased, Landry said. More than a dozen Everett parks are named for people.

Howarth Park, with its saltwater beach, shares a name with William Howarth, a philanthropic Lowell Paper Mill executive who died in 1937. Phil Johnson Ballfields, a baseball facility, was built largely with a $2 million gift from the Phil L. Johnson Foundation. Johnson is the former owner of Millstone Coffee Inc.

Drew Nielsen Neighborhood Park, at 13th Street and Colby Avenue, is named for the City Council member who died in a rafting accident in 2012. Wiggums Hollow Park was named in honor of Arnold Wiggum, a former principal of Everett’s Hawthorne Elementary School. His sister, the late Margaret Wiggum Groening, was the mother of Matt Groening, creator of “The Simpsons” — and the inspiration for blue-haired Marge.

Already, north Everett has Senator Henry M. Jackson Park, the 14.6-acre space that includes a playground, sports fields, garden plots and more. Plans for the new Glacier View park call for play and fitness equipment, a rain garden, a path and a plaza.

“We encourage community members to share their ideas for what we should name our newest park,” Lori Cummings, the city’s parks director, said in a statement.

“It’s nice to see people are interested,” Landry added.

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@heraldnet.com.

Help name park

The public is invited to submit name proposals for the city of Everett’s planned 1.2-acre park at 4730 Colby Ave. in the Glacier View neighborhood. Name proposals may be submitted online at www.everettwa.gov/parknaming.

The Everett Historical Commission will hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. June 26 in the eighth floor Hearing Room of the Wall Street Building, 2930 Wetmore Ave. The commission will review proposed names and make a recommendation to the Everett City Council.

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