Atlanta’s Vine City Park to be renamed to honor past community leaders

By David Pendered

In 2017, the Rev. Darrion Fletcher died during his campaign for the Atlanta City Council post held by Ivory Lee Young, Jr. On Tuesday, Young continued his effort to honor Fletcher by naming a playing field for him in Vine City Park. Young also proposes to rename the entire park for a well-regarded urban planner, June Mundy.

Darrion Fletcher

The Rev. Darrion Fletcher was a community leader in Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood who died in 2017. Fletcher is to be honored by having a portion of the Vine City Park named for him. Credit: atlantaprogressivenews.com

The naming efforts are part of a broader movement in the Westside neighborhoods to retain portions of their history as the area is redeveloped at a quick pace. Vine City Park is two blocks south of Historic Mims Park, which is to honor Civil Rights leaders once it’s complete.

The city council’s Community Development Committee approved both of the naming proposals on Tuesday and forwarded them to the Transportation Committee, which is to consider them at its meeting Wednesday.

There is some question about the ownership of a portion of the Vine City Park that city officials are researching.

Fletcher, 54, died on Sept. 25, 2017. Young went on to defeat one challenger and is serving in his fourth term.

The legislation Young introduced is effusive about Fletcher and his service in the community. The paper observes that Fletcher received both a proclamation and Phoenix Award from then Mayor Kasim Reed. Fletcher’s other awards include an Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award from the Georgia Secretary of State and a Community Service Award from Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas (D-Atlanta).

The legislation observes:

  • “WHEREAS, his advocacy led to the continued development of Vine City Park; and
  • “WHEREAS, he sponsored many community events in Vine City park, including one of the first youth health fairs which focused on healthy foods and healthy living for young people; and
  • Vine City Park, ribbon cutting

    The play area at Vine City Park is to be renamed for civic leader the Rev. Darrion Fletcher. Credit: parkpride.wordpress.com, 2016

    “WHEREAS, Revered Fletcher was educated in the Atlanta Public School system and graduated from J.E. Brown High School, obtained a Divinity Degree from Carver College and founded the “Walking through Vine” outreach Ministry; and

  • “WHEREAS, through his ministry he was a spiritual counselor to the community and sponsored neighborhood activities which included a Family and Friends Day, Meet and Greet Neighbor Day, and a crime prevention event, among others; and …
  • “WHEREAS, the Atlanta City Council wishes to honor Revered Darrion Fletcher by dedicating a playing field within the Vine City Park in his honor….”

Young’s legislation to rename all of Vine City Park as June Elois Mundy Park lauds her work to promote homes that are affordable to folks earning the salary of schoolteachers, and her service in then-Mayor Andrew Young’s administration:

  • “WHEREAS, June Elois Mundy was a highly respected urban design scholar who used her extraordinary expertise to preserve vital communities in the City of Atlanta; and
  • “WHEREAS, armed with her master’s degree in Urban Planning June Elois Mundy helped design towns in Nigeria and Egypt and used her urban planning skills to benefit other urban cities before relocating to Atlanta in 1982, to serve on former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young’s Design Commission: and
  • Vine City Park, locator map

    Vine City Park is located a few blocks northwest of the Mercedes Benz Stadium. Credit: walkscore.com, David Pendered

    “WHEREAS, June Elois Mundy was a staunch supporter of affordable housing, advocated for displaced seniors and preached new urbanism before new urbanism was cool; she supported the design of communities where the people were the priority, by providing access to civic, cultural and recreational facilities, green space, shopping and easy, access to other amenities; and

  • “WHEREAS, during her tenure at the City of Atlanta June Elois Mundy was a voice for the unheard, articulating concerns with a focused accuracy that helped to preserve the essence of historic neighborhoods like Auburn Avenue and Vine City, while educating the public on the intricacies of code enforcement and zoning to empower them and give them a voice in the shaping of their communities and helping to protect vital green space, such as Vine City Park; and
  • “WHEREAS, June Elois Mundy passed away on January 25,2007, she has left an indelible mark on the City of Atlanta through her many contributions and commitment to improving the quality of life of all its citizens….”

The Atlanta City Council could vote on the proposals as early as May 7. The vote could be delayed pending the answer into the question of the ownership issue.

 

 

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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