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Neighbors want Hideaway Park name restored

THPRD board members will take second look at renaming park in honor of Babette Horenstein.


TIMES PHOTO: ERIC APALATEGUI - Greg Freuler was among those who circulated a petition to neighbors of the former Hideaway Park before asking Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District to restore the original name. Freuler said the lots marked with green triangles signify neighbors who opposed renaming the park after former board member Babette Horenstein. None of the home owners they could find favored the name change.About 150 neighbors signed a petition saying they want the name of a Garden Home park restored to Hideaway Park, the name its held since it was created from part of an old farm a half century ago.

Neighbors brought the argument to the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District’s Board of Directors meeting Monday, two months after the board unanimously adopted a staff recommendation to change the park's name to Babette Horenstein Memorial Park in honor of one of the district’s most influential board members.

One of the petitioners, Greg Freuler, brought a map of the immediate Hideaway Hills neighborhood with green icons marking homes where residents opposed the name change.

“There’s not a single person out of an entire neighborhood that supported this name change,” he told the board. “Not one.”

Their opposition clearly got the attention of board members, who promised to at least take a second look at the name and bring the issue back to a future agenda.

“We may change our mind,” Chairman Larry Pelatt told them, “we may not.”

Several neighbors said they didn’t know the board was going to act in August and some thought their opposition when THPRD officials previously contacted them would sway the board against the change. As a result, none of the neighborhood opponents was present for the vote.

“More assertive action would’ve been taken had we known,” said another petition gatherer, neighbor Jill Vaughn.

Several neighbors said their opposition in no way reflected negatively on Horenstein, but they wanted to keep the historic park name that matches their neighborhood.

Horenstein, who died in 2013 at age 81, had served on the park board from 1977 to 1993. She was broadly active in the community, including service on the Beaverton School Board and other volunteer positions.

A total of 83 new parks were added during her tenure, but her family had identified the already existing Hideaway as her favorite park. She often brought her children there to play, even though she live a few miles away in Raleigh Hills.

Several of the neighbors wanted the board to name a new park or natural area after Horenstein. Others suggested honoring her with a park bench, sign or plaque at Hideaway.

Eldon Foster, who served with Horenstein on the park board years ago, said his problem with renaming Hideaway Park was that it wasn’t a grand enough gesture to honor someone he considers among the top three most important people in laying the district’s foundation.

“I’m not sure we’d have this facility were it not for Babette Horenstein and her work,” Foster said at the meeting, held at THPRD’s centerpiece Howard M. Terpenning Recreation Complex.

Foster suggested that a facility of districtwide importance would be appropriate.

Pelatt and another longtime board member, John Griffiths, said renaming Hideaway for Horenstein was the board’s initial experience with the district’s recently adopted naming policy.

“This was our first time going down this road,” Pelatt said. “Maybe we moved too fast.”

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District posted this sign last summer about a proposal to change the name of Hideaway Park to honor late board member Babette Horenstein. The district's board adopted the name change but will take a second look after neighbors mounted a petition drive to restore the park's original name.


By Eric Apalategui
Beaverton Reporter
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