Thursday, February 24, 2011

What's in a Name? Hopi Tribe Supports State Park, but Wants "Ruins" Removed

Posted By on Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 9:50 AM

The Homolovi II ruins site at Homolovi Ruins State Park.
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With Republican lawmakers sweeping the funds that support state parks, the Arizona State Parks Board has had to find creative ways to partner with local governments and non-profits to keep the gates open.

Now the Hopi Tribe is saving Homolovi Ruins State Park from closing. There’s just one caveat—-they want the name changed.

The tribe has agreed to enter in a one-year agreement with Arizona State Parks, contributing $175,000 to keep the park, located just east of Flagstaff, open to the public. During early negotiations in November, the Hopi Tribe requested the Arizona State Parks Board take “Ruins” out of the park’s name, according to an information report released by the board.

“To the Hopi, the word ‘Ruin’ in the park name refers to ‘something dead.’ They would prefer ‘Ruin’ be replaced with another noun or remove it,” the report says.

The park will re-open on March 1, with its grand re-opening set for March 18, regardless of whether the name is changed, says Ellen Bilbrey, public information officer for Arizona State Parks.

The Arizona State Parks board will seek input from the public on the potential name change at its March 17 board meeting.

Until recently, the name changed seemed a virtual certainty to state parks officials.

“Yes, we’re going to change the name. ‘Ruins’ is just being dropped,” Arizona State Parks Assistant Director Jay Ziemann told the Tucson Weekly three weeks ago. “It may happen as early as February.”

Arizona State Parks is asking those with suggestions or comments on the name change to either come to March’s board meeting at the Winslow City Council Chambers or send a message via the “Contact Us” tab at azstateparks.gov.

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