City Parks Alliance recently convened its board of directors in Memphis for our fall meeting. Once a year, we select a city we think is on the move to host the board – a mix of public, private, nonprofit, academic, community and philanthropic leaders. Much like previous meetings in Detroit, San Antonio and Seattle, we left inspired, energized and eager to follow the city’s next steps in its journey to create a stronger park and recreation system.
During our stay, we toured a number of Memphis-area parks, learning about the history of each park, the partnerships involved in managing them, and the hope for what they can do for all residents. Downtown parks included Court Square, Memphis Park (which I now understand is “Fourth Bluff Park”), Tom Lee Park and River Garden. These last three connected parks provide a green foundation from which a true vision can be realized in 2020 and beyond.