celebration of life

The Celebration of Life Memorial for Georgie Tsushima takes place at the Ames Skate Park across the street from Brookside Park in Ames on July 25, 2015.

The Ames City Council will vote Tuesday on renaming the Ames Skate Park after Georgie Tsushima, a deceased Iowa State student who opened a skate shop in the city and was an avid skateboarder.

The vote at Tuesday's night meeting will end an ongoing debate in the city over the park and the policy of renaming city parks. Tsushima passed away in July of 2015 and the city received a request later in the month to rename the park.

If approved, the skate park, located at Brookside Park, will be named “Georgie Tsushima Memorial Skate Park.” 

Tsushima attended Ames High School and Iowa State, and while recovering from a brain injury as a result of a skate boarding accident, he opened FLC Skateshop. Tsushima died the evening of the grand opening, according to city council documents and past reporting from The Daily.

Doctors were not sure if his death was a result of his injury, Tsushima's mother, Teresa Downing-Matibag, lecturer in sociology at Iowa State, told the Iowa State Daily earlier this year.

The City of Ames did not have a policy or guidelines on naming parks, recreational facilities or amenities, according to city council documents, and members felt a policy was needed. City staff were then directed to draft a policy.

The council adopted a new policy laying out guidelines to name parks at their May 10 meeting. The proper documents have been returned to the city officially requesting a name change, and include 2,000 signatures of individuals from 45 states and 24 countries, according to city council documents.

The city manager and the Parks and Recreation Commission are planning to unanimously recommend the council rename the park at their meeting. 

"Georgie Tsushima has a strong connection to the skate park, had good moral character, and has impacted many lives across Ames, the State of Iowa, and the nation," council documents read. "The Parks and Recreation Commission has unanimously recommended to the City Council that the Ames Skate Park be renamed in his memory."

The documents formally requesting the name change, the new naming policy adopted by the Ames City Council and the petition signatures can be viewed here

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