FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– As the City of Fort Collins continues to grow, so does the demand for new streets. As the city continues to add roadways, they also need new names for each road.
As the city reviewed road names, it was noted that most roads named after people, were named after men.
“Almost all the streets in Fort Collins were men,” said Kori Wilford, a member of the Fort Collins Women’s Commission.
After realizing the issue, several Fort Collins organizations teamed up to help make a change.
“History is not just a man’s story,” said Lesley Struc, who works with the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.
“Women in all of history are often invisible, they are often left out of the narrative,” Wilford said.
Several groups launched a mission to identify notable women in the city’s history, who should have streets named after them in the immediate future.
“What have women done here in Fort Collins where they have stood on their own, and made a name for themselves?” Wilford said, describing the criteria they used to start the search.
As the process entered early stages, quickly those involved noticed a welcomed-problem.
“We need more streets, I guess,” Struc said. “Because, we have so many name options. It was really hard to narrow it down.”
Struc said the list included many women, of many talents and professions.
“Women who were doctors, teachers, business women,” Struc said. “Women who were collectors, rodeo queens.”
One of the most notable women to have her name passed by so far, was Mabel Prebel, the city’s first female mayor.
Struc said she hoped Prebel’s name would quickly be honored with a street sign.
And, with Colorado State University being such a pivotal part of Fort Collins, one of the university’s graduates could be a frontrunner to receive a street name.
“Jovita Lobato, who was the first Hispanic graduate at CSU,” Struc said.
Those involved say the process is just beginning. However, they were excited to help bring notoriety to those who have gone unrecognized before.
“I think any time an underrepresented group can start to have their story shared, and come to the forefront, it is fantastic,” Wilford said.
Organizers said they hoped street names honoring women would be implemented in the coming years.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.