The Fort Ward Management Plan Implementation Monitoring Group is now accepting nominations for an “at large” representative. On July 11, City Manager Mark Jinks announced that nominations could be submitted to Julie Fuerth at email@example.com by July 20.
The city’s plans for Fort Ward generated controversy as descendents of African Americans buried at the fort said the expansion of the park will eliminate any chance of finding family graves on the site.
James Spengler, director of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities, said the 11-member monitoring group will include at least two members from the Fort Ward descendent community. The group will also include members of the Oakland Baptist Church and the Seminary Hills Civic Association, as well as the representatives from the city’s Parks, Historic Resource, Archeology, and Environmental Policy departments. Spengler said the group’s purpose will be to provide ongoing recommendations for implementation of the plan, to ensure that projects done in the park are consistent with the plan, and provide future recommendations for park use.
“As the city does additional archeological work … they will have the group weigh in on how they make things consistent with the plan,” said Spengler. “[The group will] hopefully up and running by the fall. Sometime in September or October, they will have their first meeting.”