Greenline on Track, but Overton Park Ambushed

Great news - the County Commission today (3/30/09) unanimously voted in favor of the 7-mile Bike/Ped Greenline!!! Thanks to Gates of Memphis, click HERE to see the route from Midtown to Cordova.

But meanwhile, there's more controversy in Overton Park. Click to read the latest on:
* the City's plan for an 18' deep retention basin in the Greensward (field across from Memphis College of Art)
* last week's surprise bulldozing of the Old Forest's undergrowth. There's also info. on what you can do to help stop destruction in the park.

Parks & Greenways - Rhodes Workshop to put issues in Perspective


Our current, local debates over green spaces in Memphis and Shelby County are part of a bigger 2-century long debate over environmental protection and urban planning. Rhodes College workshop to take a look at the past and put the issues in historical context. Free. Apr. 7. You're invited.

For information, click "read more."
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"Blacks Living Green"


Who said blacks aren’t interested in “green”? Michelle Obama is planting a vegetable garden at the White House, and Sharon T. Freeman, author of the myth-bursting book, “Blacks Living Green” will be in Memphis Apr. 9th to recognize 10 local “green” role models. You’re invited. Click “read more” to get the details.
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Memphis on track to become Emerald city

Good turn-out and suggestions at 1st two Mud Island River Park meetings!


And, in case you did not read Sunday's Commercial Appeal, it looks like Memphis may soon have a 7 mile Bike/Ped Greenway!!!

Update 3/30/09: County Commission voted unanimously to support the 7-mile Greenway!!!
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Mud Island River Park: Let YOUR Voice Be Heard

What's this all about?

Taking care of our awesome Mississippi River at Memphis for future generations is really what this is all about. Let YOUR voice be heard.

Public study underway aims to decide what YOU want to do with Mud Island River Park.
Commercial Appeal's Sunday editorial offers fair warning: MIRP "has been overdeveloped before, and it would be a mistake to let that happen again."

HOW To Let YOUR Voice Be Heard:

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Plans for Mud Island River Park

As we head into public meetings to think about what's ahead for Mud Island River Park, here's a quick look at some of the previous studies and plans for the park.

Links:
Waterfront Center report
Sidney Shlenker's plan for the Pyramid and MIRP
RDC original Masterplan for MIRP and landbridge
Bass Pro plan for Pyramid and riverfront
Ericson plan for Pyramid and MIRP
Hyneman's Flagship development on Mud Island

Waterfront Center Report on Mud Island

In 1999, the City hired the Waterfront Center from Washington, DC to gather public comments about the riverfront. Click below to see the suggestions for Mud Island.
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Will Memphis catch on to how important parks and greenways are before it’s too late?

SmartCity blog takes a look at Memphis, documents the benefits of parks, and calls for action and new priorities here at home.

No Greenprint Bruises Our Image Black And Blue
This commentary was first posted in October, 2005, and then reposted 3/10/09 in light of the controversy of the mistreatment of Overton Park's Greensward.

In a time of economic crisis and fiscal stresses in local government, it would seem that it would be the perfect time to protect what we have.
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YOUR input wanted - Mud Island River Park land use study


If Mud Island River Park were to be redeveloped, what changes would be most important to you? What improvements would you like to see?

Funded by $200,000 from the Corps of Engineers, $100,000 from the Hyde Fdn., $75,000 from the City, and $25,000 from Memphis Tomorrow, the RDC has hired Looney, Ricks, Kiss Architects and The Consilience Group to find the answers and design a land use plan based on your input.

Four public meetings are scheduled. For times and locations click here.

If you are unable to attend one of the meetings, you can still take part in an online survey. Click here to answer the questions and submit your comments.
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A Playground for Mud Island River Park - Maybe


This summer Mud Island River Park (MIRP) may have a new playground if the City Council approves a request by the RDC for $390,000. About 2/3s of that ($265,000) is for playground equipment; the remainder is for a walking trail in Chickasaw Park.

The City Council was suprised to learn about the two projects and that they had been lumped together and already sent out for bids. The projects will go back to committee for consideration in two weeks.

The MIRP play areas, one for children between the ages of 2 and 5 and one for ages 6 to 10, are designed to be added to the center of the park in a grassy area, along the side of the Riverwalk. The River Park hopes to have the play areas finished by opening day Sat. April 11. The original MIRP "Huck Finn" playground, was destroyed about 20 years ago when Sidney Shlenker managed the park.

Update: Council voted to wait for park land use study results to see: 1) if public wants a playground in the park and 2) where architects and planners suggest it be located. Wise decision; it would've been a wasteful mistake to build it and then turn around and either move it or rip it out.

BSL to receive $475,000 in stimulus funds

An article in the Commercial Appeal announced that U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen secured $475,000 in federal stimulus funding for Beale Street Landing (BSL) - the $29.4M boat dock project underway at the foot of Beale Street.

Although "shovel ready", it seems a strange project to receive funding designed to support economic recovery. The overnight boats it was intended to serve have gone out of business.

Previous public funding for the project includes approximately $10M from the state and federal government and $19M from the City.

Click below for links to the article on stimulus funds for Memphis and for additional information on BSL.
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Beale Street Landing - "Virtual" View

The RDC has produced a short "virtual" video to clear up confusion and give us a preview glimpse of Beale Street Landing (BSL). If you haven't seen it yet, click HERE to watch.

Notes:
The large twin towers seen in the background on the video are not yet built. They are the proposed $250M Carlisle Corp. luxury hotel/condo project, No. 1 Beale. Because of the economic downtown, the project has been modified.

The BSL parking lot to be built in Tom Lee Park is not shown in the video.
For a map that shows the location of the boat dock, restaurant/ticketing area, and parking lot, click here.

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Foam on the River


Here’s a picture of what boaters found on on the River Sun. Feb. 22. It's not snow. Memphis and the state of TN should look better.

Click below to see what the Maynard C. Stiles Discharge permit and the TN water quality for recreation require and comments concerning the foam problem from the TN Dept. of Environment and Conservation and the Maynard C. Stiles Waste-water Treatment Facility.
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Key Building in Downtown's Redevelopment Restored

After a long period of decline, the historic Lowenstein/Rhodes Jennings Building, circa 1886, now has a bright future. That's a reason to celebrate, and Court Square Center, LLC invites the public to the opening reception Wed., March 18, 5:30-8pm.

The building stands at the corner of Main and Jefferson, and is a key component to downtown revitalization.