Monday, April 22, 2013

Website Responses Favor Keeping Park Names

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 6:12 PM

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Hundreds of supporters of the original names of three downtown parks with Civil War themes overwhelmed all other choices in a web poll conducted by the city of Memphis.

The committee appointed to rename the three parks met Monday for 45 minutes but made no decisions. Members got handouts with the results of the web poll as well as a list of suggestions from the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce.

The former Nathan Bedford Forrest Park that triggered this exercise got 525 responses, with 481 of them favoring that name. Ida B. Wells was the second choice, with three votes, the same as Civil War Park.

The former Jefferson Davis Park also got 525 responses, including 484 in favor of that name. Confederate Park got 463 votes, with Confederate Memorial Park the runner-up with 7 votes.

Each of the parks also got a sprinkling of votes for such names as Consolidator Park, William C. Boyd's Folly Park, and Lost Cause Park.

The Chamber of Commerce recommended the names Rock N' Soul Park for Jefferson Davis Park, Tiger Park for Confederate Park, and Volunteer Park for Forrest Park.

Members of the committee complained that many of the responses to the web survey came from people who do not live in Memphis. Keith Norman said that factor, along with "the harsh tone may be some of the very reason why we are here." It is not clear how the home towns of the respondents were determined in the web survey. Unlike the public comments in an earlier meeting, respondents did not have to provide an address.

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