Tag Archives: Gig Harbor YMCA

Don’t Forget Why Public Facilities Are Named After Certain People

Gig Harbor has a new place to play.

The city dedicated a new park on May 20, the Kenneth Leo Marvin Veterans Memorial Park, located behind behind the business park that’s just behind QFC on Point Fosdick Drive. It’s a beautiful facility that features baseball and soccer play areas, copious open grass space, playground equipment and the city plans to add interpretive trails in the near future.

There is ample parking and restroom facilities and the locale should well serve the majority of the population in the Harbor Heights region.

With the burgeoning of youth sports and leagues in soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse and other field sports, the region is in desperate need of new playing space and even before this newest facility had even been officially dedicated, it was being put to good use by a number of local ball clubs.

The Peninsula Metropolitan Parks and Recreation District isn’t sitting back on its collective heels, either, as work is progessing nicely on the new park off Sehmel Drive. Known as the Sehmel Homestead Park, it will feature multiple baseball and soccer fields, horse and people trails and an outdoor amphitheater among its many amenities.

Work also is under way to develop a new set of baseball fields between the existing Gig Harbor Little League fields on Burnham Drive and the new Gig Harbor YMCA on Harbor Hill Drive.

All of these facilities will be put to good use and it’s nice to see the area responding to a long overdue and unmet need in the community: more open space for youth and families.

But let’s go back to the Kenneth Leo Marvin site for a moment. The site has been dedicated and named after a long-time Gig Harbor resident and decorated war veteran who deserves such an honor. A rich and community-minded dedication ceremony took place with the requisite dignitaries and ceremonial ribbon cutting, accompanied by speeches and music.

But like so many public facilities and structures, who will remember all this pomp and circumstance six months from now? A year from now? Five years down the road? Naming a park or building or bridge or stairwell or whatever after someone in the community is a grand gesture, one that no doubt brings a warm glow to those who love and remember that person. Problem is, people who visit the named edifice often have no clue as to who or why the particular public edifice was named.

All it would take, amid all the other fluff and glory that is a part of such a dedication, is a plaque that summates in two, three, maybe four sentences who the dignitary is who has earned the honor of having his or her name given to public use.

There are countless children and adults — many not yet born, who will spend many an hour at the Kenneth Leo Marvin Veterans Memorial Park. Let’s give them the advantage of knowing why we thought it important enough to attach his name to the public playfield.