Beloit City Council votes to rename park to honor Regina Dunkin

Beloit City Council votes to rename park to honor Regina Dunkin Main Photo

19 Mar 2024

BELOIT — Summit Park now will be known as Regina Dunkin Park following a vote by the Beloit City Council Monday, approving the name change.

The park, at 1218 Henry Ave., is being named after the current Beloit City Council president to honor her many accomplishments and contributions to the community. Dunkin recused herself from the vote on the park name change.

An unveiling ceremony for the new signage at the park will take place a 1 p.m., Saturday, April 13.


A group of community, government, and business leaders brought forward the initiative to rename the park earlier this year. The Parks, Recreation and Conservation Advisory Commission and Plan Commission recommended the council approve the request, which was submitted by local pastor Dannie Evans.

“Mrs. Dunkin has been a great help to our community over the years and has been an exceptional example to both old and young who live here. … After much consideration and careful thought, we are requesting a park located in the Merrill neighborhood be renamed in her honor,” said Evans in his letter to the City Council. “I believe it is important for our youth who live there now and who live there in the future to see that the City of Beloit honors those who have worked hard to make this a great city.”

"I am humbled by this recognition and hope that the park renaming inspires the children and families who will visit and celebrate events there over the next few decades," Dunkin said. "As our next group of leaders, spend their time playing soccer, basketball, grilling out, enjoying the playground equipment or splashing in the splash pads, I hope they will advance my legacy of service and community advocacy. I want young children to know that if I can do this, they can too."

Dunkin was the first Black woman to hold the position of Beloit City Council president. She announced earlier that she will not seek re-election after eight years on the council.

She also is the chair of the Wisconsin Public Defenders Board and the Greater Beloit Economic Development Corporation. She was the executive director of the Merrill Community Center in Beloit for nearly 20 years and she served on the School District of Beloit Board of Education from 2000 to 2006.

She served as United Way Campaign Chair for Beloit Health System, was president of the United Way Blackhawk Region Agency Directors and served on many other community boards and helped many local causes.

Support for the renaming included a letter from Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, who wrote “Regina Dunkin is a dedicated public servant and community advocate, and in recognition of her lifetime of work giving back to the Beloit community and breaking down barriers so that other individuals, especial women and people of color, might be leaders in their local community, she is well deserving of this honor.”

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