Community News

Which Name Do You Like Best for the Commonwealth Avenue Park?

City Seeking Feedback Via Online Survey Through March 3

The 0.58 acre site at 3550 Commonwealth Avenue had previously been a dormant substation. The City’s purchase of the property in 2009 required that Virginia Electric Power Company demolish and remove the substation and complete all necessary environmental remediation. In October 2011, neighborhood volunteers used donated plants and mulch to install two gardens, a walking path, shade trees and park benches. In 2016, the City completed the Neighborhood Parks Improvement Plan that included a concept for the park, building upon the volunteer efforts, with a plaza and game tables, a tricycle track and picnic area. In September 2018, Rebuilding Together Alexandria hired Landscape Architecture firm Rhodeside and Harwell to develop a design for the site, based on the Neighborhood Parks Improvement Plan. The project’s final concept plan is above. (Image: City of Alexandria)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Thanks to a new park-naming policy adopted this past fall, the community gets to decide what to name the no-name park at the corner of Commonwealth and Reed Avenues at the north end of the Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria.

Two names have gone through the new nomination process (see below for how that works) and now the City of Alexandria is soliciting feedback. The public is invited to participate in an online survey ( now through March 3, 2020 to provide feedback on two proposed names:

Unity Park: As stated in the proposal, Unity Park reflects the “hopes and dreams that we have for this park…it would be a place of connection, recreation, and fun for all of the people that live in the neighborhoods surrounding it. It would also serve as a reminder of where we have come from and where we are going. In addition, the name also speaks to the fact that it sits between several neighborhoods and recognizes all the work the residents of the various surrounding neighborhoods put into the original park construction.”

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Shirley Tyler Park: The proposal states that “for more than 40 years, Mrs. Shirley Tyler was a community leader in Alexandria. Tyler and her family moved to Arlandria in 1965 where she was a resident until her death in February 2018. They were the first African American homeowners in their neighborhood. Tyler became involved in the Arlandria Civic Association. In 1973, Tyler was appointed to the Alexandria School Board. From 1974 to 1976, she served as vice chair and from 1980 to 1982 served as the first African American female chairperson. She was an educator. From 1969 to 1979, she was a 2nd and 3rd grade teacher at Grace Episcopal School. In 1975, she became the Headmistress and remained in that position until her retirement in 1989.”


How it Works: The City’s New Park-Naming or Re-Naming Policy

Under the new park-naming policy guidelines adopted by City Council in the fall, an individual or group submits a name recommendation to the Director of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities either by mail or online form. The submission must include the justification for the proposed name, including how the name meets the criteria in this policy, at least one letter of recommendation from representatives in the community, such as a community organization (HOA/Civic Association), and an explanation of any additional information on a community outreach process.

For more information or to request a paper survey, please contact Dana Wedeles, Principal Planner, at [email protected] or call 703.746.5491.

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