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New park by Greenwood Library to be named after Seattle-born female African American chemist who created leprosy treatment

The new park being constructed next to the Greenwood Library, on the east side of Greenwood Avenue between North 81st and 82nd streets, will be named after Alice Ball, a Seattle-born African American chemist who created a treatment for leprosy. Interim Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Christopher Williams approved the name after community input.

Alice Ball was an African American chemist who developed an injectable oil extract that was the most effective treatment for leprosy until the 1940s. Born in Seattle in 1892, Ball graduated from the University of Washington in 1915 and became the first woman, and African American, to graduate with a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii. Her life was cut short at the age of 24

You can read more about Ball’s life and work here.

The name Alice Ball Park was first suggested a few months ago by Jesse Ballnik, then a third-grader at Daniel Bagley Elementary, who created this video to support her naming nomination.

Construction is expected to begin later this month and be completed in early 2019.