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Centennial Park to get new name, dog park
centennial park
The City Council voted to change the name of Centennial Park to Swanson-Centennial Park, and add a dog park to the site, after a 4-1 vote on Tuesday. - photo by Journal file photo

After several months of discussion, the Turlock City Council voted to approve the construction of a new dog park at Turlock’s Centennial Park, following a generous donation of $35,000 by the Swanson Family and Pet Extreme.

The dog park won’t be the only change to the park, however. As per the family’s request, the City-owned facility will be renamed to the “Swanson-Centennial Park,” a decision that not all city officials supported.

In a 4-1 vote, the Council approved the name change while accepting the donation of $35,000 for a new dog park, with Councilman Forest White being in opposition.

“I’m not objecting to the Swanson portion or the family,” said White. “I just don’t want to see Centennial move to the second spot.”

This was the issue that was also highly contended between members of the Parks and Recreation Commission, as a few members expressed concern with removing the Centennial name completely as per the original request. Having shared those concerns with the Swanson family, who originally wanted it to be named “Swanson Park,” the family negotiated with City staff to keep “Centennial” as part of the name to help keep with the City’s history.

After much discussion, the Parks and Recreation Commission opted to offer the City Council several options with minimal differences such as containing a hyphen or not, or whether “Swanson” or “Centennial” would come first in word order.

City Councilwoman Amy Bublak, however, said that the Swanson-Centennial name would be appropriate for the facility, as the family has been Turlock residents for a long period of time.

“Centennial and Swanson kind of go together as their family has been here for that long,” said Bublak.

According to the Swanson family, their family has been located in Turlock since 1903 when Swedish immigrant Frederick Swanson brought his wife and six children to the town. Five generations later, the family is still farming and running numerous businesses in the area, including the local Pet Extreme.

Originally named in November 2007, Centennial Park came forth as part of the City’s 100th anniversary celebration. As part of the naming of the park, a centennial tree was also planted alongside a plaque displaying the names of those who donated trees to the park. Regardless of the renaming, the City says that the centennial tree and plaque will remain in its current location as an important element of the park.

The newly renamed Swanson-Centennial Park is located in the 3.5 acre northwest quadrant of N. Countryside Drive.