Dear Crabby, What is the New Name for Riverbend Park?

Dear Crabby,

I Entered the “Name That Park” Contest for Rochester Hills and I Hear they have a Winner – What is the New Name for Riverbend Park?


Deer Crash Park

Hello Dear Crash,

I assume that was your entry name in the contest? That’s a good one, almost as good as my suggested name of “Coyote Chomp Park.” Both pay tribute to the local wildlife and brings awareness to issues many residents have. But I feel our names were too over-the-top and edgy for the naming committee.

The committee had to search through 500 or so entries for a name that fit the area and scope of the project. I understand many of the residents entered names with a similar idea in mind relating to deer, coyotes, local street names, and even Barnett Park was a suggestion (probably because Mayor Barnett is so passionate about this park). Several choices were to keep the name Riverbend Park, but too many parks have that name now (hence the reason of the renaming contest). At the end of the day – or a two hour meeting – the committee selected three possible names: Innovation Park, Inspiration Park, and Winding Waters Park.

Well, even though those three names were the final choices, the committee requested to be able to refine the submissions. I think they had the name picked out all along and hoped someone would enter it as a suggestion. When that didn’t happen, they “refined” the process and put the closest name into the top three, but I’m just spit-balling here and creating conspiracy theories.

Drumroll please … the new name for Riverbend Park will be … Innovation Hills Park.

I know. I know. I think of an industrial park too when I hear that name. Which is funny when the only other thing called “Innovation Hills” around is a petroleum service company from Milwaukee. But this park will have nothing to do with gas and oil drilling. It will be Innovative. It will be in the Hills. And it will be a Park.

Innovation Hills Park will be cutting edge with a sensory garden, miles of trails, recreational ponds and will host the area’s largest universal play area for children of all abilities. I can’t wait to take the grandkids there (or them take me). The City of Rochester Hills is taking donations to help reach the goal of $7 million, which is the expected cost for the redevelopment of the 119-acre park. Even though our suggested names were passed over, I plan on supporting the city to help bring this park closer to a reality.

One question remains however – since they altered one of the names suggested and didn’t actually use one of the suggestions – who won the contest for naming the park? Well, if you see Mayor Barnett riding around town on a new bike this summer …

So Deer Crash, while neither one of us have a new two-wheel ride, we still win with a new cutting edge green space area on the horizon. Hope to see you soon in Innovation Hills Park.


Dear Crabby

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  1. B. Nelson says

    I think it sounds like an industrial park too. I might just still call it Riverbend Park kind of like I still call DTE Energy Pine Knob.

  2. Nina Flanigan says

    I agree that it seems they went with what they wanted … Innovation Park. All of the showy creative expensive aspects eliminates what I loved about going there … the quiet, the bird songs, the river as seen by the dirt path that meandered through and that carried ducks floating along in a quiet pocket of Rochester Hills. Must all of Rochester be developed? I entered a name that reflected the terrain thinking it was as portrayed a name change to better identify the park not a big time development to bring more accolades to our politicians. ~Nina Flanigan

  3. Mary schultz says

    The whole thing is stupid. Typical political bull –tear down paradise to put up a parking lot. Not much difference. Not one of us learned anything about protecting the environment. Does anyone really care????

  4. Barbara Stopinski says

    Terrible name for the park.

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