Some people who live in what is often referred to as northwest Columbus don't want to anymore.
And yet they have no plans to move so much as a stick of furniture or borrow even a single box.
What several longtime residents active in the neighborhood are contemplating is relocation through re-branding.
Flushed with their success at having lobbied city officials to purchase the 57-acre agriculture campus property know as the Sheep Farm site off West Case Road from Ohio State University for future green space, a group of people have been kicking around the idea that a more picturesque name is in order -- both for the park they long to see where major development was once feared and for that sector of Columbus.
"We'd like to honor the fact we were given this park and our whole vision for that park is it connotes community and it's intended for community-building," said Ellen Jones, who has lived off and on in (for now, anyway) northwest Columbus since she was 4 years old. She most recently has been a resident of the area since 2003.
"We don't think that having a directional name is all that useful," she added. "It seems kind of a sad way of discussing the area."
"I think in order for us to get the kind of development that we desire and a sense of community we need to get a new name," said Roy Wentzel, a vocal member of the citizens committee that sought to influence the city to purchase the Sheep Farm property.
"I think it's a critical aspect to building a strong community," said his wife, Jean Wentzel.
Among the possibilities floating around, Roy Wentzel said, are the River to River District, the Two Rivers and Between Two Rivers.
"We believe that we might be the only full community that sits right between the rivers," Jean Wentzel said, referring to the Olentangy and Scioto rivers.
"I am envisioning ways in which we can make this community more exciting," Jones said.
The Wentzels, Jones and Northwest Civic Association President Nick Cipiti all indicated the idea of re-branding the neighborhood came up at a Columbus Foundation-sponsored "Big Table" discussion Aug. 29.
"We need to put it out to the community and get some ideas, maybe something a little more distinctive and meaningful than northwest," Roy Wentzel said.
In a Sept. 12 email, Cipiti wrote:
"The idea of giving our area an identifiable name came up at the Big Table meeting. The thought was that northwest is more of a direction than a proper name for an area in the city such as Linworth or Clintonville. I can understand that. I don't know the process for changing the name, but before we got to that point, I would want to be sure that the people in the district were aware of the effort and were OK with changing the name as well as the new name itself. I have heard a few suggestions for a new name, but nothing stands out to me yet. A couple members have contacted me to let me know that they are opposed to changing the name of our area, necessitating a name change for NWCA, which has a long history of success in the community.
"At this point, I think it is still in the discussion stage. We will see if it gets any traction."
Jones and Jean Wentzel also said a re-branding for the neighborhood and a name for the park that would replace the Sheep Farm might be derived from some Native American tribe that once occupied the area.
"Of course, we'd obviously have to ask the tribe, if members still exist, for permission to use that name," Jones said.
"I think that we are really lacking in that kind of cohesive neighborhood sense of belonging and identity," Jean Wentzel said.
"I especially would like a name that has a geographic component in it, but was a little more unique and not just the direction of the city we live in.
"It's just another and probably one of the most important steps in establishing a sense of community and a pride of community."
Roy Wentzel said members of the Sheep Farm Committee used cloud-based Survey Monkey to get ideas from residents on use of the site, and the same thing might be done on trying to rename the neighborhood.
"If we can get that kind of input from the community, that would be ideal," he said.