The City of Alexandria is soliciting feedback on the name of the park at 3550 Commonwealth Avenue, located on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Reed Avenue in the Arlandria neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia. The public is invited to participate in an online survey now through March 3, 2020, to provide feedback on two proposed names:
- Unity Park: As stated in the proposal, Unity Park reflects the “hopes and dreams that we have for this park…it would be a place of connection, recreation, and fun for all of the people that live in the neighborhoods surrounding it. It would also serve as a reminder of where we have come from and where we are going. In addition, the name also speaks to the fact that it sits between several neighborhoods and recognizes all the work the residents of the various surrounding neighborhoods put into the original park construction.”
- Shirley Tyler Park: The proposal states that for more than 40 years, Mrs. Shirley Tyler was a community leader in Alexandria. Tyler and her family moved to Arlandria in 1965 where she was a resident until her death in February 2018. They were the first African American homeowners in their neighborhood. Tyler became involved in the Arlandria Civic Association. In 1973, Tyler was appointed to the Alexandria School Board. From 1974 to 1976, she served as vice-chair and from 1980 to 1982 served as the first African American female chairperson. She was an educator. From 1969 to 1979, she was a 2nd and 3rd-grade teacher at Grace Episcopal School. In 1975, she became the Headmistress and remained in that position until her retirement in 1989.
In Fall 2019, City Council adopted a naming policy for the renaming of park and recreation facilities in the City of Alexandria. The objective of this policy is to establish a consistent approach for the official naming or renaming of City public parks, recreation areas, and facilities. The policy allows for a community-driven naming process, stating, “An individual or group submits a name recommendation to the Director of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities either by mail or online form. The submission must include the justification for the proposed name, including how the name meets the criteria in this policy, at least one letter of recommendation from representatives in the community, such as a community organization (HOA/Civic Association), and an explanation of any additional information on a community outreach process.”
For more information about this project, visit this link.