Online Survey Suggests Not Changing Names of Charlottesville Parks

Posted: Updated: May 29, 2017 05:16 PM
Statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Lee Park Statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Lee Park
Statue of General Thomas Johnathan “Stonewall” Jackson in Charlottesville (FILE IMAGE) Statue of General Thomas Johnathan “Stonewall” Jackson in Charlottesville (FILE IMAGE)
Don Gathers Don Gathers

Charlottesville City Council has a list of suggestions for renaming parks that are home to statues of Confederate generals.

While legal proceedings could hold up the removal of the General Robert E. Lee statue, picking a new name for Lee Park could happen much more quickly.

The city got thousands of submissions in an online survey where people could recommend a new name for both Lee Park and Jackson Park, which has a statue of General Thomas Johnathan “Stonewall” Jackson.

The top choices in the survey opted to keep the generals’ names, but the five most written-in choices included Monacan Park, Sally Hemings Park, Court Square Park, Unity Park, and Freedom Park.

"I understand that Lee Park is what the majority of people want now, but I don't think that would be appropriate," said Charlottesville City Councilor Bob Fenwick.

The city does note that people were free to vote as many times as they wanted.

The former chair of the Charlottesville Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials, and Public Spaces, Don Gathers, says he likes some suggestions.

"The Blue Ribbon Commission tried to suggest and recommend that we intentionally avoid naming future monuments and locations after specific individuals, so as not to lend credence to this same sort of idea happening further down the road," Gathers said.

A final decision on the parks’ new names would rest in the hands of Charlottesville City Council.

"We really need to hammer out the idea that this park, this city, it's truly for everyone and all the inhabitants," said Gathers.

Fenwick says he wants more time to talk with people in the community before the process moves forward.

  • Viewer Poll

  • Some Charlottesville councilors are considering removing the General Lee statue and / or renaming Lee Park. What do you think should be done?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee, keep park name
    373 votes
    Rename Lee Park, keep the statue
    1399 votes
    Remove the statue and rename the park
    3551 votes
    Don't change anything
    21711 votes
    None of the above
    875 votes
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