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File #: 21-1938    Version: 1 Name: 12/6/21 Resolution to Rename Winchell Park
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 12/6/2021 In control: City Council
On agenda: 12/6/2021 Final action: 12/6/2021
Enactment date: 12/6/2021 Enactment #: R-21-422
Title: Resolution to Rename Winchell Park to Dr. Harold J. Lockett Park
Attachments: 1. Winchell_Communications_2021.pdf, 2. Final_Winchell_Results_2021.pdf
Title
Resolution to Rename Winchell Park to Dr. Harold J. Lockett Park
Memorandum
Residents approached the City about the prospect of renaming Winchell Park, after concerns were raised about Alexander Winchell, the parks namesake. Winchell was a University of Michigan professor of physics, civil engineering, geology and paleontology. A U of M committee reviewed Winchell's work and noted that "by both contemporary standards and even in the context of Winchell's day, his most notable work - the 1880 book titled, 'Preadamites, or a Demonstration of the Existence of Men before Adam' - was unambiguously racist and out of step with the university's own aspirations in those times."

This task of renaming Winchell Park became the assignment of a subcommittee of the Parks Advisory Commission (PAC). This subcommittee of PAC included staff, commission members, neighborhood and community residents, a member of the local NAACP chapter, and a staff person from the Office of Sustainability and Innovations. Individual committee members selected names for consideration and then the group voted on these initial candidates and selected six to put forth for public consideration. The subcommittee expressed an interest in selecting an individual who was not already commemorated on City of Ann Arbor property.

Voting took place during the month of August. Because Winchell is a neighborhood park, outreach was focused on residents within a 1/4 mile of the park, consistent with how the City promotes a neighborhood park improvement meeting. Postcards were sent to all homes with a 1/4 mile area of the park with information on the project, where to read biographies of the candidates, and how to vote. The park was also signed with this information. People were directed to a web page that has information on the exceptional individuals and a link to the survey.

Survey results showed Dr. Harold J. Lockett to be the clear winner. An attachment to this memorandum shares brief biographies of all...

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