UPDATE: An executive order is being drafted to change the name of Clydesdale Park in St. Louis County to be renamed in honor of St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder, according to a St. Louis County spokesperson.
The park’s name will officially change when St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger signs the order. A dedication ceremony will take place when the name officially changes, but a date has not yet been set.
ST. LOUIS COUNTY - There is a fast-growing effort to rename a south St. Louis County park in honor of a fallen police officer.
A petition circulating online calls for a renaming of Clydesdale Park, in honor of Officer Blake Snyder.
Snyder was shot and killed earlier this month in a neighborhood next to the park.
Dawn Oppe and Kathy Bosch came up with the idea from conversations on an Affton neighborhood social media page. The community was doing so much already to honor the officer, they decided to draft a petition asking for to change the name of the park to Blake Snyder Memorial Park.
“We would love to have Officer Snyder remembered forever,” Oppe said. “Have his son have some place to come.”
The 117-acre park serves it's community well, much like the man it will soon be named after.
“I think it's a great idea. It's a nice park and I'd be a great way to honor him,” said Jenny Niewoehner, who uses the park most days of the week to walk her dog.
It’s a movement with momentum park-goers are behind and that caught the attention of County Executive Steve Stenger.
Oppe said, “He had gotten wind of the petition and that it was going forward.”
Stenger's office confirms to Five on Your Side that his team is drafting an executive order to name the park after Snyder.
“Officer Snyder was an amazing hero to our community and made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Oppe. “We want to make sure that he is remembered.”
Oppe didn't know Snyder personally, she just felt compelled to honor him.
Oppe says she got a call from Stenger's office inviting her to the signing of the executive order, which will take place Tuesday night in Clayton.
Oppe published the petition on CHANGE.org Friday afternoon. Within two days, it received over 5,000 signatures.
“Which is an amazing testament to what this community can do when they come together,” she said.
According to the St. Louis County Parks and Recreation website, the park first opened to the public in 1976 as Gravois Creek Park. It was renamed to Clydesdale Park in 1983, in honor of August Busch Junior who owned property nearby and ran the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.
A change to the name of the park would still need county approval. On Sunday, a county spokesperson said park officials would need to review the park and property records – which could include stipulations about the name – before any effort could advance.
Oppe never expected her petition would get so popular so fast. She still has phone calls to make with county and park officials. She said she has also reached out to Snyder’s family, to ensure they would be supportive of a park named in his honor.
“I hope it brings our community closer together and that we remember officer Snyder for the amazing hero that he was,” she said.
(© 2016 KSDK)