Concerts and yoga classes are just two of the activities proposed to activate two Downtown parks that are the former homes to Confederate monuments.
Memphis Greenspace, the nonprofit that bought Health Sciences Park and Memphis Park in December, announced Thursday its plans to make improvements and bring more life to the parks in the spring.
“For a majority of our population, these parks were not inviting, and we want them to be for our entire community,” president of Greenspace, Van Turner, said. “We’ve taken a significant and critical first step by removing Confederate statues, and now we are moving forward with our intention to reinvent the park as a valuable asset for communities and the city as a whole.”
Greenspace plans to start by cleaning up the park’s walkways, adding seating and trash cans, as well as increasing wayfinding and security measures.
Beginning in March, the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) will host a music series, as well as weekly meditative arts programs at both parks.
“We’re thrilled to play a role in the community activation and affinity-building for these critical parks in our Downtown bookends,” Penelope Huston, DMC vice president of marketing and communications, said. “There is a demand for recreational and community-mobilizing programming in these areas, both for residents and tourists.”
Meanwhile, the Memphis Medical District Collaborative (MMDC) is working with the city and local artists to improve the streetscape and install an “artistic” crosswalk on Manassas, the street bordering Health Sciences Park on the west. MMDC staff says these improvements will be designed to steer people toward the park.
“We think it is important to provide connections for people living, working, studying in, and visiting the Medical District to open space assets such as Health Sciences Park,” MMDC president, Tommy Pacello, said. “We are excited to work with stakeholders, visitors, and other partners to make even more improvements to Health Sciences Park so more people can enjoy it.”