Buffalo, N.Y. (WIVB) — On Tuesday, the volunteer group ‘Friends of Broderick Park’ made significant strides to change the name of historic Broderick Park to Freedom Park.
The Buffalo Common Council reviewed a motion that the name change would better reflect the rich history of the area, and its role in the Underground Railroad.
“This park has been sacred ground because so many of our ancestors that came to this area through the underground railroad had to cross this river to become free. This side of the Peace Bridge is the shortest distance to Canada from the lake,” said Friends of Broderick Park Board President George Johnson.
“There are numbers of stakeholders, community leaders, especially in the African American community, that see it as a very historic park because of the Underground Railroad,” added Buffalo Common Council Majority Leader David Rivera.
The name change wasn’t approved on Tuesday, but the resolution was a step in the right direction.
“The next part of the process is a public hearing where the public will come in and they can speak on why we should make the name changes or any concerns that they may have,” continued Rivera.
The process of renaming the area was also endorsed by the family of Michael Broderick, who the park was originally named after.
“One of the great nephews contacted us from California, and then one of the grand great grandsons here in Buffalo contacted us. We want people to know that they’re in very much support of the name change and they want it to make sure that they make that happen,” concluded Johnson.
The council will be scheduling that public hearing in the coming days. It will be posted on their agenda before an official renaming and subsequent ceremony can take place.
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