Park renamed Drew Nielsen Neighborhood Park
EVERETT - Neighbors and friends of late Councilman Drew Nielsen stood and clapped last week after the City Council renamed Northwest Neighborhood Park to Drew Nielsen Neighborhood Park.
Nielsen, who died May 12, 2012 in a whitewater rafting accident, helped save the park’s site at 13th Street and Colby Avenue from being developed and with neighbors later helped build it into a park. Providence Regional Medical Center Everett wanted to build a children’s center on the site in the 1990s. Nielsen played a key role in discouraging Providence from building on the site.
Nielsen was a co-founder of the Northwest Neighborhood and a dedicated neighborhood activist before getting into politics.
“If the people in this city want to truly honor Drew’s memory, I would ask that you all go to neighborhood meetings, take part in your neighborhoods, be part of your neighborhood watches, because if anything, Drew was about taking ownership of your neighborhood making it healthy and safe,” neighbor Charlene Rawson said.
The unanimous decision to rename the park was expected.
Councilwoman Brenda Stonecipher encouraged the audience to go out and have a gin martini to honor her close friend and political ally.
Council members waited a year after Nielsen’s death because the city’s public places naming policy requires a one-year waiting period after a person’s death. A proposal to rename the park was first submitted May 29, 2012.
Nielsen, an attorney, would have wanted the council to follow its rules, Councilman Paul Roberts said last week.
“Drew once said: We should name things not just for political people but for unique things citizens do in the community,” Roberts said. “The wonderful thing tonight is here we get to do both.”
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