Neighborhoods around Bde Maka Ska weigh name changes

While the future of the name Bde Maka Ska is still up in the air, the surrounding neighborhoods of the state's most famous lakes are considering making some changes as well.

The West Calhoun neighborhood is looking at possibly changing its name to reflect the lake's new name.

"I think people understand it as one thing but I understand things have to change,” says Barry Hastings, West Calhoun neighborhood resident.

On the west side of Bde Maka Ska, the lake's recent name change is still making waves. "If it makes people like the neighborhood better or makes people feel better about the neighborhood, I think it would be ok," adds Evan Weiner, West Calhoun Neighborhood Council.

After the Minneapolis Park Board changed the name of Lake Calhoun, the West Calhoun Neighborhood Council sent a survey asking residents if they were interested in renaming their neighborhood as well.

Just over half of those who responded wanted to keep the same name while the rest were evenly split between Lake Maka Ska and West Lake after the light rail transit station that is scheduled to go in.

"With all the talk about changing the lake, changing the street names, we just wanted to get a feel from the neighborhood and see what they were interested in overall," explains Lynette Davis, West Calhoun Neighborhood Council.

Residents in the Calhoun Area Residents Action Group, or CARAG neighborhood, already voted to change its name to South Uptown last fall. While the East Calhoun, or ECCO neighborhood, is considering whether it wants to follow suit. The West Calhoun Neighborhood Council says so far only three percent of residents have filled out the survey, so it wants to hear from more before making a decision.

"We want to make the effort to reach out to the whole neighborhood, so we are doing what most people want to do rather than just a few,” says Lynette Davis, West Calhoun Neighborhood Council.

But whether the neighborhood decides on a new name or not, the ripple effects of the lake’s name change will continue to be felt.

"It’s a hard balance to strike,” says Hastings. “I don't know what the answer is.”

The neighborhood council is planning a neighborhood meeting next month where it will try to get more responses to the survey. But there is no timeline on when it will make a decision.