Carson City parks officials are considering celebrating longtime Carson City benefactor JohnD Nevers Winters by putting his one-of-a-kind name on a public park.
The parks and recreation commission on Tuesday will consider renaming Centennial Park in honor of the fourth-generation Nevadan who throughout his life has served on several community organizations and twice donated generous plots of land for public use.
In 1956, the rancher donated land for the former Carson City High School on King Street, and in 1984 he gave nearly 100 acres for the West Eagle Valley Golf Course next door to Centennial Park.
The Winters name goes way back in Northern Nevada. JohnD's great-grandfather immigrated here on the Oregon Trail and settled in the Washoe Valley in 1852. His grandfather, John D. Winters, was a territorial representative to Congress when Nevada became a state in 1864. He was narrowly defeated in Nevada's first gubernatorial election.
The idea of putting the name on something in Carson City came in a letter from Winters' stepson Bruce Pozzi, a public relations consultant in Anchorage, Alaska, who realized on a drive through town that among the signs like Graves Lane and Lompa Lane, there was no mention of Winters.
"At 96, JohnD isn't getting any younger and it would be nice to recognize him while he is still amongst the living," Pozzi wrote to Mayor Marv Teixeira.
Pozzi's original request was that the golf course for which Winters donated land be named after the man, but city leaders felt it might hinder ongoing marketing efforts to promote area courses.
Renaming a park, however, might also be strange, Moellendorf said.
"They (parks) get institutionalized. The thing that's kind of awkward is that a park often keeps its old name among the residents."
Locals may keep referring to the park as Centennial, while visitors or newcomers become confused when they can only see a sign for JohnD Winters.
Moellendorf said he will discuss several options with the parks and recreation commission at its next meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Carson City Community Center.
n Contact reporter Cory McConnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.
Discuss options to honor JohnD Winters
WHAT: Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission meeting
WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.