Parks are living spaces, constantly growing and changing with their communities.
Projects that will help improve the Park are going on all the time--from research to hands-on efforts to improve the park's ecology.
New Greenline Access: SFPC raised $170,000 for a new connector trail to the Shelby Farms Greenline. Construction began Fall of 2016 and will be open to the public Summer 2017. The new trail will be ADA-accessible with both stairs and a ramp leading up to Perkins Avenue, connecting more than 1,000 residents in the Avon Neighborhood. Residents across Summer Ave will connect to the Greenline at this connector trail once Perkins Rd. is repaved by City of Memphis later in 2017.
PROJECT FUNDED BY: The Avon Neighborhood, County Commissioner Heidi Shafer, on behalf of District 5, Shelby County, Hyde Family Foundation, ioby, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in association with the Mid-South Regional Greenprint, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Ritchie Smith Associates
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Ybos & Sons Construction Inc.
Fence Work: SFPC is working to make the park more welcoming by removing historic barbwire fencing around park edges and replacing it with wooden posts. We have completed work along Mullins Station Rd. by Gates 9 & 10 and all around Heart of the Park. Fencing has been removed (and reused by local artists!) from along Walnut Grove Rd.
New Fishing Pier: SFPC is building a new ADA-accessible fishing pier at Pine Lake thanks to a generous donor. The pier will have a ramp, benches under the shade of a new roof and a fishing railing designed with kids and those in wheelchairs in mind. The pier is under construction now! Look out for information on our opening celebrations this summer.
New Fitness Station: Thanks to a multi-year grant from the TN Department of Health, SFPC has been able to provide free fitness classes for all and free field trips to low-income schools. This is part of an effort to combat rampant obesity and diabetes in our community. In addition to these new programs we will be building an outdoor fitness station. Stay tuned for details on that work starting in the Summer of 2018!
Emergency Signage: The Tour de Wolf trail received major upgrades from 2015-2016. Part of the work included new 911 signage that are part of a regional safety plan for our community’s trails. These signs feature a code that corresponds to each sign’s physical location which is shared with emergency services in order to respond quickly to emergency events. We are looking to install these on all unpaved trails, so the Lucius Burch Jr. State Natural Area forest trails are next! We have applied for funding and will hear back the summer of 2017.
Invasive Species: SFPC Rangers cleared 200 acres of Chinese privet from the Lucius Burch State Natural Area forest in 2015-2016 with the help of a $40,000 grant from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and local volunteers. Privet is the number one threat to our 800-acre forest and we are working to clear this invasive species and allow native plants to take its place in the forest understory. SFPC has applied for another grant from NFWF to allow us to clear another 200 acres
Visitor Research: How many people visit Shelby Farms Park + Greenline each year? That’s a big question for a big park. SFPC has been installing visitor counters at park entrances and trails in order to gauge how many people we are serving and how they are getting here, whether by car or by bike. This research has helped us determine the best time of day to clean up the Greenline, show need for grant funding and much more.
Lake Health: SFPC is partnering with University of Memphis’ CAESAR (Center for Applied Earth Science & Engineering) group to conduct water quality research on all the Park’s lakes and ponds.
Be alert: You may encounter large numbers of runners, spectators and vehicles during Cross Country meets and practices this season. These events are listed on our calendar.