Shelby Farms Park to Open $52 Million Heart of Park Improvements
August 23, 2016
The Heart of the Park project, the center of Shelby Farms Park’s signature Master Plan, has transformed the existing lake landscape into a new area of the Park which will become a vibrant and diverse community hub, an environmental teaching tool, an important part of the business plan to sustain the Park, and a gathering place for health and recreation, relaxation and big water adventure.
The developments have increased the lake from 52 to 80 acres, added over 55 acres of new meadow and included the planting of 3,000 new trees. In addition to the new landscape, Heart of the Park includes the new First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center, the FedEx Event Center, Kitchen Bistro and Kitchenette, new walking and biking trails, SMART charging station, additional restrooms, benches and swings, water play splash pad, picnic pavilions, boat and bike rental pavilions, an outdoor event stage, and more.
"This is a proud Memphis moment - we all built this together. We started with a big idea, engaged the public to build a collective vision and commitment, and worked hard to deliver an incredible, world-class public space for the people of Memphis and Shelby County," said Jen Andrews, Executive Director, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy.
"We are so excited to open the gates and invite the community to play, walk, run, bike, sail, kayak, dine, relax, explore and just enjoy the one-of-a-kind view at their park."
“Shelby Farms Park has long been one of the most loved open spaces in Memphis and Shelby County. The Park is enjoyed by over one million people a year,” says Tom Grimes, Chair, Board of Directors, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy. “The addition of these new amenities and activities in Heart of the Park will allow visitors to interact with the environment and one another in countless new ways. “
Shelby Farms Park will celebrate the opening of the new area with “30 Days of Celebration.” These free events every day in the month of September will encourage visitors to visit, play and get acquainted with the new space. The programs will focus on art, music, nature and fitness. A full list of events can be found at www.shelbyfarmspark.org/30-days-of-celebration
ABOUT SHELBY FARMS PARK CONSERVANCY (SFPC): Shelby Farms Park Conservancy is the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is working to help Shelby Farms Park reach its potential as a celebrated urban park that defines and shapes a great city. SFPC manages and operates the 4,500 acres of Shelby Farms Park and 10.65 miles of Shelby Farms Greenline. Each year, SFPC privately raises more than $2 million (more than 75 percent of its operating budget) to keep the Park and Greenline clean, green and safe.
ABOUT SHELBY FARMS PARK: At 4,500 acres, Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, Tennessee is one of the largest urban parks in the country. With a visionary master plan designed by James Corner Field Operations, it's poised to become one of the best. Today, the Park features miles of paved and unpaved trails, hundreds of acres of woodlands, dozens of lakes and ponds, the new Woodland Discovery Playground, a buffalo herd, meadows, grasslands, pavilions, a Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course and more.
ABOUT HEART OF THE PARK: Heart of the Park is a visionary re-imagining of Shelby Farms Park’s largest lake - a well-loved but ecologically dysfunctional lake in the center of the Park. The Heart of the Park will become a vibrant and diverse community hub, an environmental teaching tool, an important part of the business plan to sustain the Park, a gathering place for health and recreation, relaxation, and big water adventure. It will be an exemplar for innovative urban landscape design, environmentally responsive architecture, and world class programming for health, happiness and inclusion for the Mid-South.