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Proposals could mean big changes at Stone Mountain Park

Suggestions include moving monuments and renaming certain locations while acknowledging its controversial past.

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Several big changes may be in store for Stone Mountain Park, including acknowledgment of ties to the Ku Klux Klan and the consolidation of Confederate memorials.

The Stone Mountain Memorial Association met for the first time under Pastor Abraham Mosely, its new leader. His appointment by Gov. Brian Kemp makes him the first Black person to hold the position.

During the meeting, the park's CEO outlined ways to move Stone Mountain Park forward. Among some of the suggestions is finding ways to tell the truth about the park and some of its more controversial aspects.

That means acknowledging its history with the Klan and the Confederacy. It also means bringing to light the park's history as a Native-American burial ground.

The Confederate flags that currently stand near the bottom of the walk-up trail could be moved. And Confederate Hall, which houses the operations of the park, could be renamed "Heritage Hall."

Confederate artifacts and monuments could also be moved to a single area of the park.

The public had a chance to weigh in and some thought the proposals went too far - while others suggested they didn't go far enough. Any changes would need approval from the park's board. A vote is expected in May.

In the meantime, 11Alive has learned that Marriott, which operates the park's main hotel, has decided not to renew its contract for next year.

It's another financial blow as the pandemic and controversies about Confederate ties have already hurt the park's bottom line.

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