Change the message not the name

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Chula Vista is in the middle of a manufactured predicament as to the future of Discovery Park. In 1990 a beautiful Statue of explorer Christopher Columbus was erected in Discovery Park. After standing for 30 years, a local group objected to the statue. Claiming its subject was guilty of exploitation of native people. To accommodate the concern the Chula Vista Council voted to remove and discard the statue. Currently a Chula Vista task force is seeking a solution to dispose of the statue and exploring a possible renaming of the park. It is bad enough that a beautiful statue that stood for 30 years is being offered as a garage sale item, but why change the name?

When the park was dedicated, I was proud to be on the Chula Vista Parks and Recreation commission and spent years coaching girls’ softball at this beautiful park. I did not support the removal of the statue but I certainly understand the political optics and hope we can preserve the name.

What is wrong with the name Discovery? Less than 2 miles from Discovery Park is Discovery Elementary school which proudly educates our Chula Vista children. The word discovery brings to mind innovation, new ideas and future opportunity. Surely this term is inclusive to all Chula Vistans.

How about we keep the name and erect a statue of a senior citizen reading to a child or a statue of a group of children at play in the park.

We already have on display an assortment of plaques created and designed by children “discovering” their artistic creativity. Build on this theme and discover the family fun at the park

I encourage the Discovery Park task force to keep the name and change the message!

Dan Vaccaro  is former Chula Vista Parks and Recreation Commissioner
in Chula Vista.

Change the message not the name