Wildwood landmarks renamed

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Several Conejo Open Space landmarks are being renamed to remove the term “Indian.”

Source of this article: The Thousand Oaks Acorn, May 20, 2022

On May 11, the board of the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency voted 4-0 (with director Claudia Bill-de la Peña absent) to approve new titles for Indian Cave, Indian Cave Trail, Indian Creek Trail and Indian Maiden Falls, all in Wildwood Regional Park.

In her report to the board, COSCA analyst Anna Huber said the word “Indian” refers to individuals from India rather than Native Americans and therefore doesn’t accurately reflect the people who were intended to be honored by the original names.

The matter came up for consideration following an Instagram comment sent to the COSCA account, agency administrator Brian Stark said. The topic was first brought up at a COSCA board meeting in April.

Indian Maiden Falls will now be Tuhuy Falls. Tuhuy is the Chumash word for rain. Indian Cave and Indian Cave Trail will now be Little Cave and Little Cave Trail.

Indian Creek Trail, which runs along a creek fed by two natural springs, will now be called Two Springs Trail.

A previously unnamed trail that connects Wishbone Loop and Saddle Pass trails in North Ranch Open Space will also get a Chumash name: Aqiwo, or star, trail.

“There are a lot of features in this city named after developers . . . and other people who were early residents in our city, (but) this is open space,” said COSCA director Chuck Huffer, who sat on the naming committee.

Also at the May 11 meeting, the board voted to name a new picnic area in Rancho Potrero Open Space. It will be called Tex Ward Point in honor of longtime Conejo Rec and Park District General Manager Tex Ward, who served as head of CRPD for 38 years and played a major role in the formation of COSCA, a joint powers authority of the City of Thousand Oaks and the park district.

“Tex was a genius,” said director Rorie Skei, explaining that there was a time when both the park district and the city had open space land but didn’t necessarily know what to do with it.

“There was one old CRPD board member who (said), ‘You can’t put any recreation on it. It doesn’t pay taxes. We don’t want any more open space,’” Skei said. “Luckily, Tex changed him around.”

The naming committee consisted of one city representative (Bill-de la Peña), one CRPD representative (Huffer) and one member of the Conejo Open Space Trails Action Committee (Dorothy Sullivan). Before making its selection, the committee consulted a local Chumash elder as well as the agency’s own rangers.

Before the vote, COSCA director Doug Nickles asked whether the Chumash Indian Museum and the nonprofit entity under which it operates, the Oakbrook Chumash Indian Corporation, were consulted on the name changes. They were not.


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