The process to rename the West 11th Street Park in Timbergrove to The Lorraine Cherry Nature Preserve is underway. Lorraine Cherry, a Timbergrove resident integral to the creation of the park in 2008, died in November, and the move by neighbors and friends to find a concrete way to honor Cherry’s contribution was immediate.
Michelle Colvard was one such resident who had benefitted from the park and admired Cherry’s volunteer efforts. As the former executive director of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Colvard was also familiar with how the city works, so reached out to her contacts there.
“I thought I could help with this,” said Colvard, who spoke with Luci Correa, the council liaison for the Houston Parks & Recreation Department to facilitate the process.
It is the Park Naming Committee of the Houston Parks & Recreation Department who reviews proposals to name new parks, or when appropriate to review proposals from community organizations to change the name of existing parks. If there is a deed restriction or the given name is of special historical or geographical significance, the property may not be eligible for renaming.
A letter from an organization is a requirement, and it would come from Friends of 11th Street Park.
Since West 11th Street Park is a community park, there is also the necessity of a petition signed by 600 people with zip codes within a 2-mile radius of the park.
“I am hopeful it all goes smoothly,” Colvard said.
Colvard is working closely with Dave Dyer, Cherry’s husband, and neighbor Darlene Wayt on the petition. She also reached out to Councilmember Ellen Cohen’s office.
“It sounds like she is already in support, but I’m asking for a formal letter of support,” she said.
Dyer is encouraged at the response so far to the petition.
“We are up to around 250 [signatures] so far,” he said.
Because there is currently not a process for electronic signatures, supporters of the effort are trying to figure out a way to make the distribution of the form easier.
In the meantime, The Leader is printing the petition for residents to sign. Signatures can be returned to Dave Dyer, 4818 Stillbrooke Drive, Houston, TX 77035.