The Village of Lansing officially names three parks Monday after Village residents voted their choices. 53 ballots were cast, and the Village trustees unanimously agreed to use the names that received the most votes. Two of the parks were named for Village luminaries, while the third celebrates diversity in a village whose residents originate from over 20 different countries world-wide.
The largest of the three is also the newest. Work began last year on what had informally been referred to as the 'Dart Parcel' park, nestled between Northwoods and Dart Drives, with primary access and parking on the Northwoods side. Designed along the lines of Dankert Park on uptown Road, the new park has playground equipment for older and younger children, and will include a soccer field once construction is finished. A walking path through the 'forever green' woods will connect the park to Dart Drive. The park will be christened 'Marion Hartill Park', after Mayor Donald Hartill's wife, who recently passed away. She is being honored for her participation in the Village's Community party, including acting as its treasurer; for 'getting out the vote' in the Village; and for hosting the Mayor's annual holiday party.
"Obviously I'm very pleased about Marian's name being chosen," the Mayor said. "One of the things that we will need to do is have a naming and dedication ceremony at some point. Certainly it needs to be recognized."
A park for smaller children across Uptown Road from Dankert Park will be named 'Global Village Park'. In 2016 it was determined that old wooden playground structures had deteriorated dangerously, and it was replaced with new equipment at a cost of over $30,000.
The new playfround will also get a new name. Formerly called the 'Lansing Village Community Park', the new name celebrates an art project Trustee Gerry Monaghan guided in 2016. The project celebrated the fact that people originating from over 20 countries around the globe live in the Village of Lansing. He had counted 26 languages spoken by residents of the Village and the surrounding areas.
A small 'pocket park' at the corner of Craft Road and Leif's Way will be named Ned Hickey Park, after one of the founders of the Village. Hickey was elected to the first Board of Trustees, and filled a variety of roles in Village government and the Community party. He also served on the Planning Board, on which he served as Chairman for many years. Before Hickey passed away he was approached with the idea that a park could be named for him. He was reluctantly convinced to permit using his name if the park chosen was quite small.
"It is the smallest of our parks, so I think we're meeting his request," Hartill said.
Trustee Ronny Hardaway has taken the lead on the changes to the parks and their naming, along with the Village Greenway Committee. He said that signs similar to the one at Dankert Park will be erected fairly soon at Global Village and Ned Hickey Parks, but it may be a longer time before the sign is put up in Marian Hartill Park because construction is ongoing. Hardaway said they don't want to put something up that might be inadvertently knocked down by the construction equipment. Completion of the soccer field, planting of grass, nd remaining finish work is planned for some time this summer.
Village officials say dedication ceremonies will likely be scheduled some time this summer.