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Renovated Daisy Stocking Park reopens with concert

Photos By Hardnotts Photograpy LLC. / LA Robinson and the Streetlife Band.

BY ANDREAS BUTLER                                                 DEEP FOCUS NEWS

On April 20, the city of Daytona Beach held a grand reopening of Daisy Stocking Park located at 555 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd which was followed by a live free concert in the park on April 20. 

The event had speeches by elected city officials along with music by a deejay, food and drinks.  

Calvin Crosslin is the great grandson of Stocking who the park is named after. Crosslin lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

“I think I am Daisy Stockings’ oldest great-grandson. I was honored to live next door to her for four years before she passed away. I lived with my grandparents on Keech St once. I really got to know her before she passed away. I remember when the park was first dedicated to her,” expressed Crosslin 

“I am here on behalf of my family. I just want to thank everyone who was involved in making this possible. She would be really proud of this truly beautiful park. This is one of the proudest moments I had just bringing my kids to this park and explaining to them who my great grandmother was. Thank you all very much.” 

The grand reopening of the park was followed by a free live concert featuring LA Robinson and the Streetlife Band. The concert kicked off of the Midtown Music Concert Series (Midtown Motown Concert Series) which has been held in the park but was in Cypress Park during the park’s renovation. The band played rock, blues, funk, soul, reggae and more.  

New amenities at the park include playground equipment, landscaping (trees, flowers, shrubbery), pavilions, connected sidewalks, a walking trail, barbeque grills, improved lighting, increased parking and a repaved parking lot. The seats at the amphitheater in front of the stage have been removed. The stage area is also now shaded. There is also a walkway in the park that has plaques detailing the life of Daisy Stocking. 

The park renovations cost $2.3 million. $1 million was funded by the state of Florida through its African American Cultural & Historical Grant. The city of Daytona Beach contributed $700,000 while $330,000 came from a grant through the Daytona Beach Racing and Recreational District. Construction began in August 2023.   

Daisy Stocking Park is a site on the city’s Black Heritage Trail. It opened in 1971 and is named after Daisy Hardy Stocking (1888-1968). Stocking was an African American nurse and humanitarian. She came to Daytona in 1916 at the urging of a fellow South Carolinian, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. Ms. Hardy supervised McLeod Hospital on the campus of Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute (now Bethune-Cookman University) from 1916 to 1918. In 1918, she married Dr. John T. Stocking. Stocking chaired the board at the Sara Hunt Orphanage for 22 years. She helped him run medical practice, but she continued to serve her community. 

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