Battle continues on naming of three Memphis parks - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Battle continues on naming of three Memphis parks

MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – There is a battle over the names of several confederate themed parks in Memphis, with a new campaign to keep the names.

You might say, "It's on," when it comes to the battle over the name change of the three parks. Forrest Park in the medical district is now Health Sciences Park. Confederate Park is now Memphis Park and Jefferson Davis Park has been renamed Mississippi River Park. The supporters aren't going anywhere.

"No, we're not giving up the fight at all," Lee Millar with the Sons of Confederate Veterans said. "We're very dedicated and committed to save the names of the parks and observing Memphis history."

And the first volley is a full page $2,500 ad paid for by Citizens to Save Our Parks.

The ad asks people to e-mail city council members asking them to reconsider the name changes for the three parks: Forrest, Confederate and Jefferson Davis parks.

"I think it's great that Memphians are becoming involved in this issue," Memphis City Council member Myron Lowery said. "The city council will be appointing a committee of community residents."

Lowery says he didn't necessarily want the parks' names changed when he sponsored a resolution to change the name of Forrest Park to Forrest Wells Park to also honor anti-lynching journalist Ida B. Wells.  But the war had started, and the names were changed. Lowery says he is getting emails and calls from people on both sides.  A public outcry is also what started the campaign to stop the name changes.

Lee Millar says Citizens to Save Our Parks is made up of citizens and several historical societies including the Black Confederate Veterans Association. And they are asking for contributions.

"The Citizens to Save Our Parks is raising money for the publicity, for mailing and for newspaper ads like this, and if it has to go to legal action, to pay for attorneys fees," Millar said.

Myron Lowery says the city council committee will listen to what citizens have to say about the three parks and then make recommendations. The ultimate decision is up to the city council.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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