One of Roseville's neighborhood parks has a new look and feel to match its new name!
This month, community members, including families and children, and parks staff installed Keya Park's new green, tan and blue play structures.
Keya means turtle in the Dakota language and the playground embraces that theme. The imaginative new play space has a larger-than-life wetland theme with giant cattails towering overhead, a blue and green poured play surface that resembles lily pads floating on a pond, and a climbing dome in the shape of a giant turtle shell.
There's also a "Turtle Find" where children and families can find replicas of the nine species of turtles that live in Minnesota, which are hidden around the playground.
The playground build is the final step in a larger reimagining of the public park at 2540 Pascal St.
In February, the City Council voted to rename the 5.7-acre park, formerly called Pocahontas Park, after two years of analysis and robust community engagement, including feedback from members of local Dakota and Ojibwe tribes.
Many in the community said Pocahontas, a Native American woman from the East Coast, was not an appropriate name for the park because it did not connect to our region's vibrant Native American heritage. Many suggested a new name that honored local tribal roots.
The new name Keya (pronounced Kay-Ah) nods to the land's history and wildlife. The entire Twin Cities region is located on historic Dakota homeland. The new name also references the turtles who often skitter into the park from the marsh below.
"Keya is a fantastic name that fits in with the spirit of playfulness that we have in so many of our parks," said Roseville Parks and Recreation Director Matthew Johnson. "It also aligns with the city's naming practice of utilizing animals that are present in the park while recognizing the Native American and Dakota history of the land the park is located on."
In addition to the new playground, which is part of the city's long-range Parks and Recreation Renewal Program, crews also recently refurbished the tennis court at the park and replaced the sign.