Lincoln Park receives funds to improve park
It’s a park that's made headlines for years. Some Lincoln Park residents are concerned about developments that have slowly moved towards their neighborhood. This year, the city council approved two million dollars for upgrades.
It’s a park that's made headlines for years. Some Lincoln Park residents are concerned about developments that have slowly moved towards their neighborhood.
This year, the city council approved two million dollars for upgrades. It’s welcome news to some, but residents like Daphne Ashley-Strong question the funds.
"It used to be a recreation center out there in the middle, there used to be a Ferris wheel and they used to keep the concession stand open,” Ashley-Strong said.
Those are some of the memories Brown reflects on as she watches her neighborhood park change.
During segregation, Lincoln Park was one of the only outdoor recreational places for Chattanooga’s African American community City Councilman Anthony Byrd said.
"One thing we have to hold onto in our history and our heritage that we have to bring forward and teach our young ones so they can know where we have been and show them where they are going,” Byrd said.
Byrd oversees District 8, this week he announced two million dollars will go to upgrades at the historical park. It’s news many have waited for but, some have more questions.
"And we appreciate it, thank you, but that is not enough for us to give up our homes," Lakizzie Brown said.
It’s a hot topic, longtime residents have fought as the hospital and city took parts of the original land.
Some say they're getting pushed out of their community and they want city leaders to take that into consideration.
"Would I want them to do this to us, in my home?” Brown questioned.
It’s something Bryd says he wants to advocate for his district.
"If we own the land you can't gentrify us. We have to start getting people to own the land, we have to start getting African Americans and people to come and invest into their community and buy property that are for sale out there,” Byrd said.
Plans for the park are still in the early phases, but Byrd wants to focus on bringing everyone together.
"Signs that said 'you are not allowed,' and this sign will say 'welcome,' so this is what we want to make sure we have a sign there that's welcoming everybody."
Residents say they're grateful for the funds, but it doesn't mean they're backing down.
"If the two million dollars just can't make them leave us alone, I would really like them to just take that two million and go away,” Brown said.
Councilman Byrd plans to host a meeting next Saturday to see how the community want the two million dollars spent. It will be at Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church next Saturday, October 21 from 12 to 2 p.m.