TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The City of Tyler honored a former council member with a tree planting and a surprise announcement at a park that until last year, many didn’t know existed.
The City of Tyler and the Tyler Parks and Recreation Department planted a tree Monday at Gassaway Park in honor of Edward Moore.
The ceremonial tree planting celebrates Moore’s years of service as a council member from 2013 to 2019 and his great community efforts, according to the city.
Those efforts include ushering in renovations at Gassaway Park. In May, the Tyler City Council approved a series of renovations to the park, including new playground equipment, a half-court basketball area, new parking areas and improving access to the park.
Although the tree was planted in his honor, Moore says it’s a greater symbol of what the city is doing for the community, not for him.
“They’re giving back to this area what’s been lost for years, and that is a nice, clean area where people can ride bike or walk by and say ‘look there is a park in my area that I’m proud of’ and the city made that available. So it’s not something that they’re giving back to me,” Moore said.
Moore, who was the city councilman for District 3 in Northwest Tyler, once described the park as hidden.
“It’s always been here, but we never had the people that say ‘OK, we got a piece in our community that we need to go back and redo,” Moore said. “When we started talking about this project of the park, there were people who didn’t even know the park existed, and they work with the City."
He added there were even people who lived near the park but had no idea it was there.
“Now they do,” he said. “And they will come, and they will let their young people and their grandkids and all that be a part of this park. That’s what it’s all about.”
In September, more than 200 volunteers worked for six hours to build a new kid-designed, state-of-the-art playground at Gassaway Park.
The City also had a surprise for Moore on Monday. It’s renaming the baseball field at Woldert Park for him.
“I’m still shocked because I could talk so much about that baseball field. That baseball field had some negro all stars that I watched play baseball," Moore said. "Robert Moore, my father, played shortstop. We had a Negro League that was created in north Tyler.”
For Moore, who is now 89 years old, it’s the memories of those days as a young boy watching the players on that field that makes the honor of having it named after him seem unreal.
"To tell me that you’re going to put my name somewhere out there, it’s just, it’s, I still need to pinch myself. I haven’t done anything but try to create and do something for the community,” he said. “But here’s my prayer. My prayer is that the people coming along — young old or whatever — will continue to play baseball. To play baseball at Woldert Park and make it a park to where young people can come play baseball and let the other young folks enjoy how much that means to them and not let it go back in the weeds where people won’t realize that that park exists.”