Bessie Estell Park
Bessie Sears Estell Park is a 5.2-acre public park in Birmingham's Glen Iris neighborhood. It adjoins EPIC Elementary School and faces 8th Street South across from St Elias Maronite Catholic Church, south of I-65.
In addition to an unfenced youth soccer field, the park features three circular landscaped plazas, a playground, an arbor, and a restroom pavilion. The entire park is designed to be wheelchair accessible. Coordination of the design of the park was spearheaded by Bill Foisy of the Birmingham Metropolitan Planning Organization. It was named in honor of long-time educator and two-term Birmingham City Council member Bessie Estell.
On March 22, 2002 a fifteen-year-old Ensley High School student was murdered in the park's parking lot. In December 2010 the Jefferson County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority planted a Bald cypress tree at the park as a memorial to Estell and fellow alumna Dorothy Height. In 2013 a UAB Community Garden was constructed near the park.
In 2014 the City of Birmingham contracted for improvements to the park's playground. In 2018, with a grant from the National Recreation and Park Association's "Meet Me at the Park" program, the city installed additional play equipment designed for accessibility for children with developmental and other disabilities. The grant was matched by city funds to construct the first phase of a larger "inclusive playground" plan prepared by J. A. Dawson & Company.