In our quest to find a name for our latest redevelopment project, we reached out to the community via social media to get input from those who live closest to the site. In total, we received 59 survey responses and gathered comments from news stories posted in the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune.
So, where do we go from here? To start, we will share this information with a team of community members who will review the responses and provide us with three possible names. Next, we will bring these three names back to the community for a vote. And, if all goes as planned, we will have an official name by November 15.
Listed below are 32 words identified through online surveys and newspaper comments. These are also the words that will be front and center as our three final name choices are determined.
- All Nations
- Paha Ipha (Crest of Hill)
- Witches’ Woods
- Wiyohiyaapata (East)
- Woksape (Wisdom)
The words submitted fell into nine categories, which are highlighted below.
Keep Hillcrest in the Name
There is strong sentiment around the Hillcrest name. Residents feel it ties to the neighborhood’s past, pays homage to the inclusivity of the golf course, and has a positive connotation for those living in the area. There is also the belief that “Eastsiders like things the way they are” and the name should stay.
Pay Tribute to the Dakota People
There are differing opinions on this front. There are some who prefer we stay away from Native American languages while others point to the fact that this is an opportunity to recognize those who were here first. The latter sees this as an “exciting opportunity” to take corrective action. These words include Paha Ipha, Wiyohiyaapata, and Woksape.
Aim High for the Elevation
There are several words that allude to the site’s elevation, especially the spot where the 14th hold tee was located. These words include bluff, elevated, heights, hills, point(e), rolling, and view.
Honor the Hmong Community
There was interest in honoring the brave Hmong people who fought against communism with the United States. No words were included. https://www.pbs.org/splithorn/story1.html
Honor Don Hafner
There are differing opinions about naming the site after any one person, due to the risk of something negative being discovered about that person in the future. At the same time, there were recommendations to name the development after Don Hafner because of the work he did as a business/building owner, offering space for community events, and keeping numerous youths out of trouble.
Promote Eastside Pride
There were a handful of words that referenced the site’s location on Saint Paul’s Greater Eastside. These included East, Eastside, Eastern, and Nordeast.
Keep the Legend of Witches Woods Alive
One of the more interesting recommendations referenced “Witches Woods.” According to long-time residents, this is what they called the neighborhood years ago (prior to redevelopment in the 1980s.) It is said to have been a place of “sneaky and nefarious happenings” both real and imagined. While Witches Woods was technically adjacent to the site to the east, there are those who want to the idea a new life.
The legend of Witches Woods is posted on the City of Maplewood’s website: https://maplewoodmn.gov/1679/Witches-Woods
Incorporate the Greater Hayden Heights Neighborhood
This idea came up because the site is located on the northern side of the Hayden Heights neighborhood. It will be supported by both the Hayden Heights Community Center and Library.
Celebrate Being Green
“Green” came up as a word that ties back to the original golf course. In addition, the word green melds with the area’s agricultural roots and the ecological growth opportunities for residents and businesses in the future.