Council officially names Pigott Property

April 8, 2013

By Ari Cetron

New: April 8, 3:16 p.m.

Fifty-one acres in the heart of Sammamish will be known as Big Rock Park.

The City Council, on a 5-1 vote, decided that would be the official name for what had been called Southeast Eighth Street Park as a placeholder. Councilwoman Nancy Whitten was opposed, and Councilman John James was absent.

Mary Pigott stands by the rock which has given the park its name.  File photo

Mary Pigott stands by the rock which has given the park its name. File photo

On Feb. 19, the council had considered and rejected a long list of names proposed for the park. But since then, two other options have come up. At the time, the council had rejected Big Rock Park as an option, noting there was already a park by that name in Duvall.

Mary Pigott, who donated the land for the park to the city, also rescinded her previous prohibition against using the phrase “frog pond” in the parks’ name.

Whitten quickly jumped on the frog. Whitten noted that besides the park in Duvall, there are parks with similar names across the region and in Canada. The frog pond name, Whitten said, isn’t so common.

“I think it gives it character,” she said. “There’s a lot of big rocks around.”

The rest of the council was more interested in the rock.

Councilman John Curley noted that some people already refer to it as Big Rock Park.

Councilman Don Gerend explained that there are any number of detention ponds around the city with frogs in them, and that could confuse people about what the real frog pond park was. He said, though that when he takes his grandson to Big Rock Park, “By golly, when we you get to that big rock he’s going to be excited,” Gerend said.

Pigott announced her plans to donate a total of 51 acres to the city for use as a park in 2010. She has given a portion of the land to Sammamish already, but she lives on a different section of the land and will retain that as long as she lives there.

Sammamish has begun a process to plan for what will go into portions of the park. The Reard/Freed house was already moved to the park grounds and is being restored by the Sammamish Heritage Society, with an eye toward having a heritage-themed area in the park.

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