City parks to get more prominent names

March 23, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

Goodbye, Guano Acres.

City officials will soon consider a proposal to name the site of a former chicken ranch and two other municipal parks. If the City Council approves the measure, Guano Acres would be known as Ingi Johnson Park. The area known as Squak Valley Park-South* would become, simply, Squak Valley Park*, and Talus Park would be called Harvey Manning Park at Talus.

Because the city-owned sites are known only by nicknames, action by the City Council is required to give official names to the parks.

City Council members will consider the parks bill at their April 6 meeting. If the measure passes, not much would change at the parks. Budget constraints could delay the installation of signs bearing the new names.

Mayor Ava Frisinger formed a committee last fall to suggest official names for the parks. The committee included representatives from the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, Issaquah History Museums, city Park Board and residents. Members submitted nine name possibilities — three per park — to the mayor. Frisinger whittled those suggestions to three.

City Parks & Recreation Director Anne McGill said the committee weighed several factors when selecting new park names. Members considered each park’s cultural and historical significance, natural features and the surrounding neighborhood. The committee also decided whether to name parks for significant figures in local history.

Ingi Johnson Park would take its name from a late, longtime city employee. Harvey Manning Park at Talus would recognize the late conservationist who helped establish Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. Manning, who helped to establish the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, coined the term “Issaquah Alps” to describe Cougar, Tiger and Squak mountains.

“Harvey Manning is an icon for the state of Washington,” city Parks Planner Margaret Macleod said.

Members of the City Council Services & Operations Committee endorsed the parks proposal March 19.

Councilman Joshua Schaer suggested adding the Talus descriptor to Harvey Manning Park as a way to remind residents about the location of the property.

“It’s a nod to the community in that neighborhood,” Schaer said.

Councilwoman Eileen Barber said it might be difficult for her to remember the new park names.

“It’s always going to be Guano Acres to me,” she joked.

Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment on this story at

* This report contains corrected information.

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