The pop-up park at Forest-Audelia launched last weekend. ICYMI, it’s a Better Block Foundation temporary park open to the public featuring public art murals, a community garden and even Wifi. The weather’s so exemplary I might move my office over to its “open green area.”

The area is long known for its crime stats but also for its residents, representatives and neighborhood churches/nonprofits’ efforts to curb problems and assist area families in need. So this is a good example of that.

Here are a couple insights from the day.

First, Krista Nightingale, the foundation’s executive director, said that despite others’ warnings, she was neither robbed nor killed and didn’t even need to use her mace — those are not her words, obviously. Her words are far more eloquent:

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A group of Lake Highlands moms who ran the “Say Their Names” booth say they had nothing but positive responses from visitors.

Posted Denita Jones, co-founder of Lake Highlands Area Moms Against Racism (with her permission, from a Facebook group):

“This was the best moment of the day. To all those who fought against the Say Their Name Memorial this is why I fought for it. The ladies pictured here located their sister Merci Mack and friend Mulaysai Booker. Say Their Names remember them and change the policies and systems that have placed all of these beautiful souls on this and other memorials.”

Carol Toler authored a nice post about the display when it went up at Lake Highlands High School in 2020.

Courtesy LHAMAR/Denita Jones

Keep an eye out for your November Lake Highlands Advocate magazine, which includes more detail about the Forest-Audelia project.