FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A Fort Worth park named after one-time president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, may soon receive a name change.
The Fort Worth Parks and Recreation Advisory Board is today discussing renaming Jefferson Davis Park on the city’s south side. They’re meeting at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens.
If the board wants to do something, and follows the rules, the change to the park wouldn’t happen until as late as January 2018. However, they write the rulebook, and could set aside the rules, potentially making a change sooner.
Only a wooden sign reminds of the 8-acre park’s controversial namesake. No statues or memorials to Davis create shadows on park grounds. The only shadow cast is that of America’s dark history, and after last month’s violence in Charlottesville, an online petition popped up to change the park’s name. Now, more than 5,000 people have signed it. By signing, they agree with the petition’s statement that given the diverse neighborhood the park is in, Fort Worth should find a more suitable name.
But CBS11 spoke to several people who live near the park, and they said there’s no reason to change anything.
“I don’t like it and I don’t feel good about, because it’s like someone wanting to change your name if you already have one that you are known by,” said south Fort Worth resident Miguel Cadenas.
Ultimately, the council will approve any name change. If they follow the process set out, they likely won’t vote on a recommendation to change the name until November.
The park, which was established and named in 1923, includes a nature trail, playground and soccer field.
Texas has more than 180 public symbols of the Confederacy, with dozens of monuments dedicated during or after the Civil Rights era, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Davis had no well-known ties to Fort Worth.