Howard park to be named after Lions Club
By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – The Village Board agreed Dec. 13 to name the new park at the intersection of Woodale Avenue and Velsen Road as a Lions Park, in recognition of the continued service provided to the village by the Howard-Suamico Lions Club.
What the full name of the park will be, however, remains to be determined, because board members questioned whether a park in Howard should include Suamico in its name.
“About eight years ago, we did a little survey with the Village of Howard and the Village of Suamico regarding what kinds of services could the Lions Club do for the villages,” Arthur Becker, from the Howard-Suamico Lions Club, said. “One of the things that really stood out at both villages was parks. Back then, there was a lot of interest in parks and increasing the ability of parks and providing better parks for the neighborhoods.”
Becker said one of the goals of Lions Clubs internationally is establishing parks in the various communities they serve.
He said the Howard-Suamico Lions Club is willing to contribute toward the park upon it being named after the organization.
The club said it plans to donate $10,000 toward improvements in the park.
Director of Public Works Geoff Farr said the village has already received the equipment it ordered for the park, and is waiting for spring to install it.
Trustee Chris Nielsen said he thinks it’s a great idea for the Lions Club to support the park, but he questioned Becker as to the name he preferred.
Becker said he favored naming the park after the organization’s full name, Howard-Suamico Lions Club.
“I guess you don’t like Suamico,” he said.
Nielsen responded by saying, “We love Suamico – they are our neighbors and our friends.”
“This is a Howard park, and we’re putting Howard-Suamico (on the park sign),” he said. “It’s not a Howard-Suamico Park.”
Because the Lions Club serves the two communities, Trustee Marie Lasecki said it is “prudent that it be named the Howard-Suamico Lions Park.”
Trustee Craig McAllister said “Suamico is a great neighbor, and we work well with them, but do you want to have their name on a Howard park?”
“That was the sentiment I was thinking, too, especially after the survey (the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Survey Research Center conducted of Howard residents this fall) when nobody really knows what community they’re in, in the first place,” he said.
Village Administrator Paul Evert said the park signage could be designed with a larger font for the Lions and a smaller one for Howard-Suamico.”
“Our parks signs actually say on the top – they say Village of Howard right on top, we have our logo – and then we can come up with a couple different designs that they can look at, and we’ll show the board to see if you are (in favor),” he said.
Becker said similar questions came up among Lions Club members in regards to the park’s name.
“I heard suggestions like the Lions Park, sponsored by Howard-Suamico Lions Club, something like that,” he said.
Becker said parks are going to be one of the Lions Clubs’ big efforts in the future.
He said members have also talked about supporting other things, such as an archery range.
The motion Nielsen made and the board approved calls for naming the park “the to-be-determined Lions Park, in recognition of the service provided to the village and the proposed financial contribution of $10,000.”