September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 29

dance with what we were trying to do
with the facility, " W. Lee Jones, director
of Mecklenburg County Park and
Recreation, says. Once the premises
were vacated by the nonprofit, the
complete responsibility for management
and future programming became
the sole responsibility of Mecklenburg
County Park and Recreation.
The Present
The change in management opened
the door for reinvention of the site
- not by denying its painful past,
but by allowing for a space to share
its history from a sensitive, unbiased
frame of reference. Since closing the
site, Mecklenburg County has developed
a basis for the project that
consists of three phases: Discovery,
Blueprinting and Implementation.
In Discovery, the department
moved forward with goals of equity,
inclusion and compassionate,
truthful programming. Staff quickly
initiated conversations with community
partners, including museum
professionals, local historians and
experts in the interpretation of African
American experiences during the
antebellum period. The project team
also consulted with scholars to ensure
that next steps are informed by
current research.
The Future
The Blueprinting phase will begin
summer 2022, with the development
of an Interpretative Master Plan that
will be executed by an outside consultant.
The goal of the plan is to
help develop interpretative themes
and a timeline for implementation.
The Blueprinting phase also will include
archival research and story collection
from key descendants identified
as having ties to Latta Place. The
final phase, Implementation, will begin
in fiscal year 2023-2024 and will
conclude with the reopening of the
site to the public.
The project taking place at Latta
involves a tremendous amount of
transformation. What began as a
change in management has evolved
into a journey of reflection and healing.
This project has afforded all
involved a chance to revisit the past
with hopes of reshaping the future.
An extended version of this column is
available online at parksandrecreation.
org.
Chris Matthews is Division Director for Mecklenburg County
Park and Recreation, Nature Preserves and Natural Resources
(christopher.matthews@mecklenburgcountync.gov).
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Stronger Communities
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September 2022 - Parks & Recreation

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

September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
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September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10a
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10b
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 11
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 12
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September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
September 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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