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Council Chooses Park Name
Oakdale Flag

After consideration of names and a public hearing, Oakdale Community Park will be the name of the city’s new park along South Yosemite Avenue. However, there will also be a nod given to several local community figures, with certain portions of the park named in their honor, in an action approved by the Oakdale City Council.

Name considerations of the grant-financed park started this summer with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department gathering public input. One of the first naming considerations at that time was to honor Bushwacker, the World Champion bull of Oakdale.

On Sept. 13, in a meeting for the Parks and Recreation Commission, several members of the public attended and shared their ideas for the park name which included several community members who’ve had an impact within the sports and Oakdale High School communities.

Oakdale City Manager Bryan Whitemyer said that after listening to the ideas of the public, the commission discussed the naming options.

“After some deliberation and with support from the members of the public present, the commission unanimously approved the recommendation to name the park the Oakdale Community Park with elements of the park to be named after certain Oakdale figures,” Whitemyer said.

According to the commission, the par agility course will be named after Jack Walker, former OHS teacher and coach.

The Amphitheater will be named after another OHS teacher, longtime music teacher Ron ‘Mr. Q’ Quintanal and the skate park will be named after Jason Turnage, a local businessman and extreme sports enthusiast who passed away from cancer in 2012.

The park’s Basketball Court will be named after Norm Antinetti, a former Oakdale High School teacher, coach and athletic director.

Councilwoman Cherilyn Bairos said the idea of the Oakdale Community Park name fit since the facility was more than just a skate park. She added that since Oakdale High School wasn’t able to name anything after its coaches and faculty, the city could take the lead.

During the Oct. 3 Oakdale City Council meeting, Amy Velasco, who originally pushed for the park to be named after Quintanal during commission meetings, said she was impressed with the passion of the other speakers and their proposals. She said she came away with the idea to name factions after individuals was by far the best way to honor Oakdale’s “heroes” and a better way to celebrate the city’s heritage.

“What better way to create a community park than by building upon the shoulders of this town’s finest; those that gave their careers, their love, their lives,” Velasco said. “I for one am anxiously awaiting the day my son can play basketball on Antinetti courts, or skate on Turnage pipe. I can’t wait to ‘get my sweat on’ at the Walker exercise horse, and enjoy the cool summer breeze as my family, along with hundreds more, sit for an outdoor summer concert at The Q.”

The park is currently under construction and is due for completion in April or May of 2017.