In the end, according to many people shepherding changes in McKinley Park, renovation isn’t just about improving trails and picnic areas – as much as residents welcome those amenities. This project won’t just update a city’s infrastructure or advance agency missions. It’ll help determine the future of these communities. McKinley Park may be a bellwether of whether or not the benefits of renewed greenspace can be sown equitably.
“We have people who are active and involved,” said Jamil Bey, “and if it’s possible for us to get in front of this conversation around gentrification and displacement, and make sure that investments benefit long-term and low-income residents, then we have a good shot of being players in this as opposed to bystanders.”