Jen Clarke

Content + Strategy + Social

Renaming three Memphis parks: my recommendations

Originally posted March 28, 2013 at

The City of Memphis’ Parks Naming Committee is hosting a public forum to discuss potential names for three Memphis parks. Nathan Bedford Forrest Park, Confederate Park, and Jefferson Davis Park were given new, temporary  names in February because of their negative associations with slavery and the Civil War.

The forum, set for Monday April 1, will begin at 4:30 in City Council chambers. Citizens wishing to present a recommendation are asked to see the security guard at the front of the chamber for a card granting time on the floor. Presentations will be brief, and the committee asks that citizens present their suggestions without going “deep into conversation about individual, personal interpretations of history,” according to a release.

Additionally, a form has been set up online to submit name suggestions.

I plan to attend the meeting, first because I love a good ole’ City Council brawl, but also because I’ve come up with three great names that I feel embody the spirit of the city.


Marc Gasol is a member of an elite group of Grizzlies who also went to high school in Memphis. He is a two-time Olympic silver medalist and an NBA All-Star. He’s one of the best centers in the NBA. He led the Grizzlies to their first playoff series victory. Not only is Marc the best Gasol, he’s a great Memphian. He deserves his own park.


Continuing the “Hoop City” theme, Josh Pastner is another good citizen whose recent commitment to Memphis deserves recognition. After going undefeated in Conference USA, taking the Memphis Tigers to the NCAA tournament for the third straight year and finally winning a game, Pastner had ample opportunities in front of him. He chose to remain here in Memphis. I’m sure money played no small part. But here in Memphis, we reward loyalty.


I’m not gonna lie, this one’s my favorite. Everyone knows about Memphis’ love affair with smoked meats, and our pride in being not only the best (shut up Kansas City) BBQ town in the world, but the host of one of the biggest BBQ competitions. Naming one of the parks BBQ PULLED PARK SHOULDER simultaneously glorifies our fatness and our commitment to recreation!

Other names for consideration:

“Park Can Be Fun,” “Grit ‘n’ Ground,” “The Parkade,” “FedEx Park”