A Badin High School student has started an online petition seeking to change the new name of a Monroe park.
Last week, Monroe City Council approved a motion to change the name of the former Americana amusement park to Bicentennial Park in honor of the city’s bicentennial year.
However, Thomas van Horn, of Liberty Twp., has started a petition to Monroe Mayor Robert Routson and Vice Mayor Suzi Rubin on the Change.org website to change the name back from Bicentennial Park to simply Americana Park.
Hundreds of people had signed the online petition as of noon Friday.
In his description, van Horn said that the former amusement park “thrilled children and parents alike for 80 years, but 15 years ago the park shut its doors for good. The park fell into to disrepair and was a shell of its former self.”
He said the Americana name should be kept because the park was such a part of local history.
Although van Horn had never been to the amusement park when it was operating, he has a deep appreciation for it through online videos on You Tube and from doing a lot of research on his own.
He also noted the city acquired the property this year to expand the Great Miami River Trail.
“Now the name voted for by the Monroe City Council is Bicentennial Park,” he wrote. “This is a name that I find unfit for this historic park so I propose that it be called Americana Park.”
Routson made the motion to change the name of the park to Bicentennial Park since the city officially acquired the property on Nov. 7 in a land swap with the previous owner. Council voted 6-0 for the name change.
City Manager Bill Brock said the city is reviewing whether additional legislation is needed to formalize the name change.
“We can recognize the history of the site in others ways,” Brock said. “I think the (new) name is very appropriate.”
Rubin said city council intends to honor the history of the former amusement park as the property is developed.
“We’re all aware of the history and that history won’t be forgotten,” she said.
Rubin said van Horn is very interested in the park and she hopes he stays involved in the process.
“He’s very passionate about the park,” she said.