Proposals to rename 2 Jacksonville parks take spotlight at City Council meeting

City Council issues ordinance to rename Jacksonville’s Confederate Park

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The process for the Jacksonville City Council to consider changing the names of two city parks continued Tuesday.

The council met virtually and listened to public comments on the two bills. One would change the name of Confederate Park to Springfield Park.

The other bill would change the name of Hemming Park, which is in front of City Hall, to James Weldon Johnson Park. Councilman Garrett Dennis announced he wants to rename the park after Johnson, a Jacksonville black civil rights activist, educator and composer who wrote “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” often called “The Black National Anthem.”

Hemming Park (File Photo) (Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

The proposal came a week after a Confederate monument was removed from Hemming Park, the downtown city plaza framed on two sides by City Hall and the federal courthouse. The park is currently named after Civil War veteran Charles Hemming, who donated the Confederate memorial to the state of Florida in 1898.

There was no vote on either ordinance Tuesday night. The next scheduled meeting is in two weeks.

About the Author:

Kent Justice co-anchors News4Jax's 5 p.m., 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights and reports on government and politics. He also hosts "This Week in Jacksonville," Channel 4's hot topics and politics public affairs show each Sunday morning at 9 a.m.