MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Overton Park is landlocked in the heart of Midtown but it will soon be growing when it comes to public use. The expansion opportunity is rare for the park and they need the public's help to decide on what to do with the space.
The Overton Park Conservancy group said the park will soon grow by 13 acres in the southeast corner of the park where the city's General Services Division has maintenance buildings that it has operated from there since the 1930's.
The space will come available when that division vacates the current buildings.
“It’s all concrete, asphalt buildings, gas stations so there are all kinds of stuff back there but we basically have this opportunity to start from scratch and envision a space that can be a really fun part of the park and something that will serve our users and community," Melissa McMasters, Overton Park Conservancy Director of Communications, said.
The conservancy group is currently developing a plan for the 13 acres but they want the public's input on what they want to see fill the space through a survey.
The survey, which is a little more than 20 questions, features many of the considerations for the space from hiking trails to a canopy walk, adding more recreation options to even building proposals for a nature center, restaurant or retail space.
“Our main vision is to make the park an even more equitable space than it already is and making sure that it is serving all Memphians and all Memphians needs and also we’d love to be able to find a way in this plan to make the park more financially stable because we are primarily supported by community donations," McMasters said.
Parking spaces added to the area are also likely but McMasters said installing one large parking lot isn't in the plans.
To give feedback, fill out a survey by the end of Monday, November 30.
"What we’re seeing in the early results of the survey is that people are really prioritizing the idea of continuing this nature theme and connecting to the forest but also they’re really interested in continuing the park’s art history," McMasters said.