CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – City officials will conduct a ceremony at noon Saturday to officially rename Birchwood Park in honor of U.S. Army veteran and community leader Sidney R. Brown.
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Brown, 85, is battling cancer, but is expected to attend the ceremony.
Last week, the City Council approved a resolution sponsored by Councilman Richard Garrett renaming the park as “CSM Sidney R. Brown Park at Birchwood.” Saturday’s ceremony will include remarks by Brown’s son, Ronald Brown, and the presentation of a proclamation.
Birchwood Park, 2608 Burch St., has special significance for Brown, who was part of Club 25, a group of African-American veterans from the Birchwood neighborhood. Club 25 bought the site more than four decades ago and developed and maintained it as park for neighborhood children. Later, under the direction of Mayor Ted Crozier, the park was taken in as part of the Clarksville Parks & Recreation Department.
Brown had a notable career as a soldier and community leader. Born in 1931 in Birmingham, Ala., he entered the U.S. Army in August 1950, and completed basic training at Fort Knox, Ky., and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga.
In 1957, Brown deployed with the 101st Airborne Division to Arkansas during the desegregation battle at Little Rock Central High School. Later, while assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, he deployed to Vietnam in July 1965. Other assignments included a second tour to Vietnam, two tours in Germany and two tours in Korea.
After 30 years of service, Brown retired and enrolled at Austin Peay State University. He graduated in 1985 and went on to serve on the Montgomery County Commission. During eight years representing District 9, he promoted a number of initiatives, including a nursing home for veterans in Montgomery County. The 106-room facility opened in 2016.
Brown has served with Habitat for Humanity, Community Action Agency, Tennessee Commission on Aging, Fort Campbell Historical Foundation, and the Tennessee-Kentucky Chapter of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA).
Brown also served on the APSU President’s Circle of Advisers for 15 years; served as chairman of the Board for the Dynamic Six Country Club; president of Elester Garner Chapter, 555th (Triple Nickel) Parachute Association; and as vice-president of Enlisted Affairs for AUSA.
Austin Peay’s Military Alumni Chapter created the Sidney Brown Scholarship Endowment to benefit active duty military, veteran students, their spouses and children and APSU ROTC cadets.
The City Council resolution, approved unanimously on Oct. 3, reads:
WHEREAS, Sidney Brown has contributed greatly to the Clarksville and Montgomery County community through his service, both as an individual and as an elected official; and
WHEREAS, it is appropriate that the Clarksville City Council acknowledge Mr. Brown’s contributions to the citizens of Clarksville and Montgomery County.
BE IT RESOLVED that the Clarksville City Council hereby approves renaming Birchwood Park as “CSM Sidney R. Brown Park at Birchwood.”
CSM (Ret.) Sidney R. Brown, right, received a proclamation from Councilman Richard Garrett at an event earlier this year. The City of Clarksville has renamed Birchwood Park as “CSM Sidney R. Brown Park at Birchwood” in honor of the U.S. Army veteran and community leader.
Members of Club 25, a group of veterans who bought land to develop a park in the Birchwood neighborhood some four decades ago, are shown at the park in this historical photo.