A group of park preservationists, ecologists, business leaders, and others have launched a Speak Up for Overton Park campaign to gauge interest in forming a nonprofit conservancy to fund and manage Midtown's largest park.
The conservancy would be similar to the ones that manage Shelby Farms Park and the Memphis Botanic Gardens. The group's website — OvertonPark.org — says the park "is threatened by inadequate funding and haphazard planning," and the advocates claim that a conservancy might be the answer. If approved, a conservancy would maintain the city's ownership of the park, while decreasing its obligation to maintenance and upkeep.
Speak Up is hosting two public meetings this week to gauge interest in the conservancy model. One will be held on Saturday, June 25th from 10 a.m. to noon and the other on Tuesday, June 28th from 5 to 7 p.m. Both will be held inside the Memphis College of Art. The public survey is also available online.