After receiving a request from the community, the Cincinnati Board of Park Commissioners voted affirmatively to rename Laurel Park to Ezzard Charles Park.
The West End Community Council voted unanimously in support of the change, submitting a letter of support to the Cincinnati Park Board commissioners. Additionally, Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses and community advocates Stephan Pryor and Duane Harmon collected signatures of support from the West End community. At the commissioner meeting, vice mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney spoke passionately in favor of the renaming of the park as well.
Renaming of the park comes as an exciting addition to the many other changes and enhancements the park has received as part of the Cincinnati Parks Foundation’s Ezzard Charles Project.
About the Park
Laurel Park was originally named after the Laurel Homes community which was developed by the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority in 1936. Laurel Park came into being as a result of the construction of the Union Terminal. It is located on both sides of Ezzard Charles Drive, boasting an expansive lawn and stately trees.
In 2020, as part of the Ezzard Charles Project, MadTree Brewing helped plant over 100 new trees in the park and surrounding West End Community. In 2021, signage for the new go Vibrant Cincinnati Cobra exercise route was installed, starting within the park. This year, on October 1, Cincinnati Parks Foundation will unveil the new Ezzard Charles statue and accessible plaza. The plaza features informational signage on Charles’ life, plus the addition of four new park benches. These will be the first park benches installed within this West End park.
About Ezz Fest and the Statue Dedication
Cincinnati Parks Foundation and 7 Hills Neighborhood Houses invite all to attend the 5th Annual Ezz Fest in Laurel Park on October 1 from 10am to 3pm! This year’s festivities include the reveal and dedication of the new Ezzard Charles statue and plaza. Other activities include a 5-mile race, community parade, live music, vendors, face painting, bounce houses, food from Ollie’s Trolley, and much more!