A new park is being planned for Central City that will serve as a greenspace for the neighborhood while shining a light on its historic importance.
A park honoring the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, one of the foremost organizations in the fight for Civil Rights and a group that was founded in Central City, is planned for a vacant piece of property next to New Zion Baptist Church.
The church was the site of the incorporation of the SCLC in 1957, when Martin Luther King, Jr. joined with nearly 100 civil rights leaders inside the church and made the organization official. The planned park next to the church will include a boardwalk that guides residents through the history of the area and the SCLC.
Felicity Redevelopment Inc., a group that revitalizes properties around Central City, wants to fill the empty space near the church with a boardwalk, art and educational material.
Felicity is currently raising money to pay for the art aspect, which the Uptown Messenger reports will be a mural of important figures in the SCLC. The mural is expected to cost $5,000 of an expected $115,000 total project cost. Felicity Executive Director Ella Camburnbeck told the hyper-local paper that the park is also being funded by donations from the Helis Foundation, the Besthoff Family Foundation, the Goldring Family Foundation and the Boyd Family Foundation. The educational component of the project will be funded by a $25,000 grant from the National Park Service.
For more on the park and its history, take a look at the flyer from Felicity Redevelopment below: