We are The Highland Park Neighborhood !
Late last year a proposal was made by a member of the EBNA board to consider changing the neighborhood name to the Highland Park Neighborhood. It has been recognized for a long time that most residents in the neighborhood do not know the name of the area they live in is (was) known as the Ellwanger & Barry Neighborhood. Despite repeated efforts over the years, for various reasons, it was hard to get the name to “stick” both for residents of the neighborhood as well as for those outside the neighborhood. Reasons for proposing the change include a better, stronger, neighborhood identity and a stronger geographic identity and marketability. The board did not want to institute a change like this without residents being behind it, so the decision was based on input from the neighborhood. We solicited input through general meetings, e-mail (sent to over 400 residents), a printed newsletter (delivered to 1700 households) and personal interviews. The majority are very much in favor of the new name, with straw polls at two general meetings mirroring results of our tabulated poll with a greater than 2 to 1 margin in favor of the change.
The name change in no way signifies ownership of Highland Park or any part thereof (our boundaries have not changed although we are now including the 1,000,000 groundhogs that live in the park as residents 😉 ). The intent is to instill a sense of pride and stewardship of the area to foster positive action to preserve and protect the neighborhood including our treasured Highland Park.often repeated sentiment we heard loud and clear during the process was a desire to retain and highlight our historical roots in the Ellwanger & Barry Mt Hope Nursery. This name change in no way changes our heritage. In fact, it has led a number of residents to begin a process to actively celebrate the history of our neighborhood ***. We are in the fortunate position of having access to an unusually large and unique collection of historical records relating to the Ellwanger and Barry tract and we will be exploring ways to pull this together. If you are interested in this project please contact a member of the Highland Park Neighborhood Association Board on page 7. Committees are active now creating a new logo and a brochure for the neighborhood. The city has accepted the change and we are notifying appropriate realtors and agencies.
*** This website is one example! Others include the renaming of the Playground at Linden & Meigs as Ellwanger & Barry Park.