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The town's newest park is spectacular, but the name? Ugh.
Don't like "Constitution Park?" Have a better name? Want to make a suggestion, or hear what others are suggesting? Tonight's your opportunity. Boy Scout Nate Rogers is holding a public meeting tonight (Thursday, Jan. 9) at 7 p.m. at Memorial Town Hall and he wants to hear from you.
More than a year ago the Board of Selectmen chose the name Constitution Park, a nod to James Madison, for whom the town is named, and his important contributions to the U.S. Constitution. The choice was met with groans, objections detailed in letters to editors, and public pleas to reconsider.
The selectmen responded. They agreed to turn the matter over to the town's young people-those who would be using the park in future years-and sought out a boy scout considering projects for an Eagle Award to undertake the effort. Rogers, a sophomore at Daniel Hand High School, stepped up.
Rogers is inviting everyone in Madison to join him tonight to hear about his project-First Selectman Fillmore McPherson said Rogers has more than 100 suggestions, some repeats-and to make their own suggestions. Unable to attend the meeting, but still have a name you want to be considered? Email Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rogers explained, "In July 2013, Madison First Selectman Fillmore McPherson approached the various Boy Scout troops in Madison with a possible Eagle Scout project, which was to help rename Constitution Park. I thought that this sounded like a very interesting project and contacted Mr. McPherson to discuss it. After our discussion, I was selected to be the lead organizer of this project, which is to obtain suggested names from the Madison community to then present to the town's Board of Selectmen. I met with my Eagle adviser, Larry Kilburn, and submitted an Eagle Scout project application to our BSA Council. The application was approved, and I began to go to work."
He added, "Many people in town are not happy with the name [Constitution Park]...Mr. McPherson has asked that the residents of Madison have the opportunity to submit their suggestions for a new park name. In September 2013, I began my project by approaching the principals and various organizations within each of the town's six public schools. At the high school, for instance, I was able to work with the school's student leadership and have every student at Hand respond with name suggestions via surveys handed out [in] their homeroom. I have since received over 600 student responses from the schools throughout Madison. My last step is to now include the residents of Madison in providing their suggestions."
Have you been one of the voices grumbling about the name of this new park? Come on, admit it. So now is your chance to offer a better option. Take up Rogers's offer.
"I would like to invite anyone in Madison to come hear about my project and to fill out a suggestion form with the reason for your choice, or email me," he said. "It would be a great honor to say that you have been a part of naming a park here in town."