A former school playground has been given new life as a city park.
And soon, it will bear the name of a couple who have spent years giving to the Chico community.
The Chico City Council last Thursday voted to name the park behind city hall “Tucker Park” to honor Nobie and JoAnn Tucker.
Both the park and the Tuckers have served Chico for years. The park is the former playground area for the old Chico Elementary School. The former school is now home to Chico City Hall.
Nobie Tucker served as mayor of Chico for nearly 30 years, with his final term ending in 2001. He was also a volunteer fireman.
JoAnn Tucker used to dispatch the volunteer fire department in the 1980s before many of the county roads had names. She’d often give firefighters directions using landmarks.
Mayor J.D. Clark said former mayor James Robinson, before his death, wanted to honor Nobie Tucker, possibly by naming a street after him. Clark said the problem with renaming an existing street is the need for everyone on that street to change their addresses.
When the city decided to keep the old playground and turn it into a city park, Clark said it provided a great opportunity to honor the contributions of both Tuckers.
“I think they would probably enjoy and appreciate knowing that a park where kids are playing – and their kids and grandkids have grown up playing on this playground – I think they’d get a lot of joy out of knowing that they had a park named after them for the kids to enjoy,” Clark said.
Fencing and an entranceway similar to Robinson Park will be added, Clark said.
Messenger archive material was used for this story.