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Alexandria’s African American Heritage Park is a Proud Memorial and a Quiet Oasis

Located on the southern edge of the historic Parker Gray neighborhood and in the shadows of one of the areas’s largest mixed use developments, Alexandria’s African American Heritage Park is a quiet place to learn and reflect.

There are eight acres in the park, one of which is a preserved 19th century African American cemetery.

Of the 21 burials on the site, six identified headstones remain in their original location.

Sloping walkways and winding paths were designed to co-exist with the original landscape of the cemetery and are handicapped accessible.

The park designers also maintained the natural wetland environment that is home to an interesting and varied plant life as well as mallards, painted turtles, beavers and crayfish.

A focal point of the park - and the area most easily seen by passersby - is a sculpture group of bronze trees called “Truths That Rise From the Roots Remembered.”

The memorial was created by Washington, D.C. sculptor Jerome Meadows and acknowledges the contributions of African Americans to the growth of Alexandria.

Smaller sculptures throughout the site commemorate historic African American neighborhoods and the individuals buried on the site, both known and unknown. Open year round to the public, it is a favorite spot for leisurely rambles or sitting quietly.

The next time you need to go to Whole Foods on Duke Street, take a few extra minutes, walk across Holland Lane and take in a vital part of Alexandria’s history. You’ll be glad you did.

For more information about homes in historic Parker Gray, call me at 703.927.4554.


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