August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 34

UNITY PARK
In 1924, after voters approved a
$110,000 bond referendum to build
a 120-acre park across town, City
of Greenville paid $15,000 for 15
acres of marshy meadowland in the
Southernside neighborhood to build
a park for Black children, who were
not allowed to play in the segregated
parks elsewhere in the city. Those 15
acres became Mayberry Park, which
opened in 1925. A few years later, the
city committed additional funds for
an athletic field with bleachers and
playground equipment.
In 1938, Mayberry Park's accessible
space shrank when the city leased
half of the land inside the park to a
Baltimore businessman at no cost to
build Meadowbrook Park for an allwhite
minor league team. Not long
after, more land was taken for stadium
parking and to extend left field.
In 1939, Reverend Elias Holloway,
the first African American
postman in Greenville and an outspoken
community leader and civil
rights activist, wrote a letter to the
Greenville Piedmont newspaper saying
in part, " The Negroes of this
city have been seeking for some
time for an outlet for the surplus energy
of their boys and girls, also for
people in general. We want the park
BEFORE
because our social and recreational
life is at stake. Please give us a
park. " Holloway's request wouldn't
be granted for 83 years.
Bringing Play Equity
to Greenville
In 2004, at the urging of the late
Tom Keith, the landscape architect
for Greenville's Falls Park, Mayor
Knox White began the process of
creating a park that was originally
recommended in 1907 by renowned
Boston architect, Harlan Kelsey.
In October 2012, after many
years of planning, the city hired
Jeff Waters, a landscape architect,
to oversee the development of what
would be the first iteration of Unity
Park. At the time, the city owned
approximately 25 flood-prone acres
in the area, which included its
sprawling Public Works campus.
" Our initial focus was only on the
land that the city already owned,
and the challenges were significant, "
recalls Waters. " The site was a historical
brownfield (land previously
used for industrial purposes), was
partially located in the floodplain
and was bisected by a river that had
been straightened in the 1930s to allow
for rail lines on both sides. "
AFTER
Working with a consulting firm,
the city hosted a series of community
workshops where residents of the
nearby neighborhoods could share
their ideas and suggestions for the new
park. According to Waters, the residents'
vision for the new park always
included keeping the existing ballfield,
the last remnant of Mayberry Park.
Lillian Flemming, Greenville's
longest-serving
City
Council
member, who grew up in Southernside
and whose mother, Lila
Mae Brock, is memorialized with
a bronze sculpture near the park,
remembers those first meetings and
how important it was to residents
that the area's history be incorporated
into the park.
" We grew up playing in this area
- skating down Nassau Hill, catching
fireflies and making our own
toys out of whatever was around, "
remembers Flemming. " So, we felt
very strongly that the emphasis of
the new park should be on children
and play. "
As the public engagement activities
continued, the city began acquiring
property in the area and in 2014,
the relocation of the city's Public
Works operations removed one of
the final obstacles standing in the
The first phase of the Unity Park project involved restoration of the half-mile section of the Reedy River that bisects the park.
34 Parks & Recreation | A UGUS T 2 0 22 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G

August 2022 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of August 2022 - Parks & Recreation

August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 5
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 6
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 7
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8a
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8b
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 9
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 11
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 12
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 13
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 14
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 15
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 16
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 17
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 18
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 19
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 20
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 21
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 22
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 23
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 24
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 25
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 26
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 27
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 28
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 29
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 30
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 31
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 32
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 33
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 34
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 35
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 36
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 37
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 38
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 39
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 40
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 41
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 42
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 43
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 44
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 45
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 46
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 47
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 48
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 49
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 50
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 51
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 52
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 53
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 54
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 55
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 56
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
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https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
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https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
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