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VOL. 127 | NO. 202 | Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jeremy Park

Get Spooky for Overton Park

JEREMY PARK

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Last week we shared a heartwarming story that featured a number of everyday heroes from various organizations and companies, like ServiceMaster and SeniorBsafe, who helped an elderly couple out of a dire situation. This week let us spotlight the Overton Park Conservancy and share a fun way we can support their efforts by attending a Halloween party.

Overton Park is a 342-acre public park, bounded by Poplar Avenue and North Parkway and North McLean Blvd and East Parkway North. The park contains a nine-hole golf course, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the Memphis Zoo, the Memphis College of Art, the Levitt Shell, Rainbow Lake, Veterans Plaza, the Greensward, two playgrounds and the 126-acre Old Forest State Natural Area. The park was designed by famous landscape architect, George Kessler, and is named after John Overton, a co-founder of Memphis.

While Overton Park is property of the city of Memphis and its citizens, last year the Memphis City Council voted unanimously to approve a 10-year management agreement with the nonprofit Overton Park Conservancy. The Conservancy is dedicated to preserving the historical integrity and natural beauty of Overton Park and focused on improving the park’s cleanliness, safety and family-friendly amenities. It has an active partnership with the various stakeholders, like the Memphis Zoo and Memphis College of Art, but primarily manages the 184 acres of public parkland outside of those entities, which includes the Greensward, Rainbow Lake and the Old Forest.

Overton Park Conservancy is currently working on some big projects, like renovating the playground and restrooms near Rainbow Lake and installing new restrooms near the East Parkway playground. They are working on plans for a new bike and walking connection at East Parkway and Sam Cooper, which will connect the Shelby Farms Greenline to Overton Park. Also, they are rolling out a new volunteer initiative called Team Overton Park, where volunteers wear Team OP shirts and are responsible for checking certain areas of the park. The goal is to have an army of volunteers that can keep an eye on things and add a positive presence of friendly folks, who are recognizable by their shirts and can answer questions for other park visitors.

An easy way to have fun and support the efforts of the Conservancy is coming up on Saturday, Oct. 27, with a Halloween party at the Sears Crosstown Building, which will be very spooky! Community leaders are hosting this private event, which goes from 8 p.m. to midnight and features live music by Elmo & the Shades, a costume contest, food and drinks, and much more. Tickets are $100 per person and all proceeds benefit Overton Park Conservancy and Crosstown Arts. Learn more about Overton Park Conservancy by visiting www.overtonpark.org and make sure to check out the Halloween Party at www.overtonpark.org/halloween.

Jeremy Park, director of the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, can be reached at jeremyp@lpinsurance.com and followed on Twitter (@lpbreakfastclub) and Facebook (facebook.com/lpbreakfastclub).

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