The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) has launched its first ever virtual dedication ceremony for Rosewood Neighborhood Park, which received statewide recognition from both the Texas Historical Commission and the Texas Recreation and Park Society. The online video highlights the history of the park with historic photos, longtime community members, and local dignitaries.
“Rosewood Neighborhood Park is among the most historically significant parks in Austin,” said Kim McKnight, who leads PARD’s Historic Preservation and Heritage Tourism Program. “We look forward to the day when we can celebrate in person and are grateful to the community for working with us to develop this engaging online event. We are excited to share the history of this special park with Austin community.” A dedication ceremony was originally planned in conjunction with Austin’s annual Juneteenth celebration, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Visitors to the park can now see a the newly installed State Historical Marker from the Texas Historical Commission and the Lone Star Legacy Park award from the Texas Recreation and Park Society.
Rosewood Park was created as the first public park for African Americans in Austin and opened in 1929. Just a year prior, the city adopted the 1928 City of Austin Plan, which enforced codified racial segregation by only providing services and utilities in the eastern section of the city for communities of color. Since the opening of Rosewood Park, it has served as the heart and cultural center for the Rosewood community. Juneteenth, the annual celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States, has been held at the park since 1930, and thousands of visitors celebrate this important holiday each year. The official Texas Historical Marker is sited near the entrance to the park off Rosewood Avenue and the Lone Star Legacy Park plaque sits on the hill south of the Delores Duffie Recreation Center near the pool.