ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque has a handful of parks named after some controversial historical figures, so they sent out a survey to the public to see if those parks should be renamed. Some of those parks are named after conquistadors, pioneers, and European explorers.
The city says the overwhelming response was in favor of changing the names. “Renaming parks, schools, and stuff you give respect to Native American tribes that suffered a lot through the historic events that these gentlemen brought upon,” said Jose Ramirez, an Albuquerque resident that believes the names should be changed.
A Citizen Advisory Panel recently suggested changing Kit Carson Park near Tingley, to Cottonwood Park. They also recommended changing Juan De Oñate Park near Menaul and Tramway, to Brentwood Hills Park.
This comes after a contentious summer, dozens of protests demanding the city take down a statue of Juan De Oñate outside the Albuquerque Museum. One of those protests even becoming violent, and a man was shot.
“We want to listen closely to the community at this very important time in our history. I think it’s a really good sign that out of almost 300 parks in our city, only a handful have really come up right now as being over-sensitive,” said David Simon, the Director of Albuquerque’s Parks and Rec Department.
KRQE News 13 asked the City what is the likelihood of those suggested changes being confirmed by the Mayor, an announcement will be made once a decision happens, but was not given a timeline for that. KRQE News 13 was at the Juan De Onate Park Wednesday afternoon, and the name sign has been removed.
KRQE News 13 asked if that’s because they’re planning on replacing the sign with a new one that has a different name, the city says they took it down over the summer during the protests. KRQE News 13 also reached out to Albuquerque Public Schools to ask if they plan on renaming Kit Carson or Oñate Elementary Schools but we did not hear back.
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