City seeks citizen help to name MAPS 3 downtown park

Thursday, March 9, 2017

by Brian Brus


Mayor Mick Cornett launched a campaign Tuesday to let city residents name the massive MAPS 3 downtown park.

The 70-acre park will maintain its identity under a single name to be chosen late this spring. Sponsorship opportunities will be made available for individual features within the park, said Maureen Heffernan, executive director of the Myriad Gardens.

The $132 million park being built under the $777 million Metropolitan Area Projects tax issue will be owned by the city, and a new nonprofit foundation will oversee its management and operations. That organization will use the same key executives and administrative personnel as the Myriad Gardens Foundation.

Design details include a cafe, sports facilities, large pond and nature trails. It will be served by the new MAPS 3 streetcar. The southern part of the park will be completed last, scheduled for 2021.

Officials decided the park’s name needs to serve as the community’s signature. Constancy of self-identity is important, whereas sponsors come and go over the years.

To that end, Cornett opened for name submissions through April 7. A selection committee will choose a name from among the most popular and will announce it at the park’s official groundbreaking. The committee will comprise two City Council members, two honorary Youth Council members, two members of the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board’s park subcommittee and representatives from the Myriad Gardens Foundation, Oklahoma City Parks Commission and the local advertising and marketing community.

The only rule is the park can’t be named after a person. City officials said silly names such as Parky McPark Place will not be considered.

City Hall has taken a similar path with sites along the Oklahoma River near Bricktown. When the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation prepared for the opening of the whitewater rapids facility two years ago, sponsorships were offered only for individual features, not the entire region. Heffernan said the Myriad Gardens also offer sponsorships for features such as the Crystal Bridge or children’s play area within the park. The business community already knows about the opportunities, she said when asked about the pricing structure.

“The new park will be a place people will meet to enjoy the trails and water features, gather for concerts and events, spend time with their children, family and friends in a natural setting in the heart of a thriving city,” Cornett said in a prepared statement. “We’re counting on you to come up with a name that captures all that.”

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