Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.
Sara J. González Memorial Park is the first park in Georgia to be named for a Latino, a police officer shot and killed in the line of duty. Sara J. Gonzalez was a leading Hispanic, minority, and immigrant rights advocate in the South and the park honors her life by upholding her values.
This urban park is located in a dense and fast gentrifying part of Atlanta. It borders both a legacy Hispanic and immigrant community as well as a wealthier enclave. It is beautiful to see families from both worlds walk to the park, play together, and attend hosted events like community clean-ups. The wheelchair accessibility was also critical as there is no other park in the area that provides equitable access.
The perimeter of the park is lined with 100-year-old oak trees, providing shade and greenery. Local organizers worked with a leading landscape designer to capture the spirit of Latin American parks with a central community plaza. The community deliberately chose playground equipment with clear lines of sight in order to ensure children's safety. Neighbors work together to keep it clean from litter.
This once forlorn park is now in constant use by families for play and by adults for walking and exercising. It is dedicated to equity, diversity, inclusion and community, featuring an all-abilities playground; wheelchair access throughout; the first Latin ethnobotanical garden in the City; the first Learning Nook in an Atlanta park; a soccer field; and community plaza. The Learning Nook was inspired by an ESOL teacher of the year who would come to the park after school with a dingy folding table and plastic chairs to tutor students, and now offers a beautiful and focused area for lessons and gatherings. It is an intergenerational and pan-cultural park that sees all ages and cultures convening for the purpose of play and community.
This is a happy, warm environment that reflects the essence of its namesake, Sara Gonzalez, who brought joy to others through her work and love of community. People play, study, reflect, meditate, kick the ball, picnic, and watch the birds. It's an oasis in an otherwise hectic city.
*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.