Thursday, April 02, 2009


Mark the County Commission's approving the purchase of the Greenline by taking a Google Earth based trip from Midtown to Cordova,

Or if you want to explore it yourself (without getting up), check out the route in Google Maps, or play with it in Google Earth.

3 observations:
  1. the organization called the Greater Memphis Greenline seems marginalized in the recent progress. They have rated nary a mention in the most recent stories. Meanwhile, Shelby Farms is all over the story, as fundraiser and manager, after little mention before (other than as eastern terminus). Something is missing here. Perhaps, as the deal with CSX came closer, the quasinonymous purchase group called Memphis Community Connector gave their funds to Shelby Farms who in turn donated them to Shelby County. But why is Greater Memphis Greenline, after being the apparent public face for so long, now barely mentioned? Doesn't matter as far as Greenlining goes, of course, but the true story would help the next citizen activist push the boulder up and over the hill.

  2. Fewer and fewer articles refer to it as "the Greenline". Recent stories have called it a walking trail or the CSX trail. On top of that, I've heard rumors that Shelby Farms will rename it. While I'm neutral about the last issue (if it is an issue), I'm not neutral about this (if it is an issue). Greenline is a great simple name. Greenline.

  3. Shelby Farms' stewardessship could mean the Wolf River Bridge is repaired much more quickly, which would be a very good thing.

    Crossing the Wolf River on the Greenline

    Crossing the Wolf is the Greenline's premier "wow!" moment.

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Blogger Naomi Van Tol said...

Awesome video!

Regarding #1, Memphis Community Connector was the negotiating agent for Shelby County government and the awesomely generous person who offered the conditional donation that made this project feasible to begin with.

CSX wanted three times as much as their track was worth, so that required legal hardball. It's really hard (usually impossible) for a volunteer citizen group to play that game. Luckily for all of us, Mayor Wharton and his staff got behind this project and made it happen.

Regarding #2, I don't think anyone can improve on the Memphis Greenline name. People love to hike the AT -- now we'll be able to hike and bike the MG! They can try to rename it, but it's the MG and always will be.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the Greenway will end at Farm Road. Entrance to the park from this point will still require a short bit on narrow two lane road. Does Shelby Farms have any plans to extend a paved trail to this corner of the Park.

10:59 AM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

thank ya Naomi. I hope the GMG, wherewithal or not, would be rewarded with something more than a hearty handclasp and a chance to volunteer at future events. Board membership on SFPC, frinstance.

anonymous, the greenline can/should keep going into Cordova. However, the initial purchase plot ends in the east at Farm Road. re: paths into the Park, having SFPC operating it makes SF connections much more likely to happen quickly, imho, but whether there are any paths or plans now, I don't know.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Syd Lerner said...

The Greater Memphis Greenline and Shelby Farms Park Conservancy are allies and partners. These two groups along with the Wolf River Conservancy formed Greening Greater Memphis in which some 200 organizations now partcipate.

The Greater Memphis Greenline is all about making Memphis a more walkable and bikable community. We're not about hogging the limelight.

Shelby Farms is the right organization to manage the trail. They, not GMG, had built up the necessary political goodwill to insure a unanimous vote by the Shelby County Commission. The GMG will work with Shelby Farms Park Conservancy to add amenities during and after the initial construction.

The Greater Memphis Greenline will continue its mission and the community can expect many more walking and biking trails as a result of our efforts. With funding in place for step one, please join us in our efforts as we continue to build more trails within our community.

We've turned a corner thanks to the efforts of not only the GMG and the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, but several unsung hereos within Shelby County government most especially Ted Fox, Kelly Rayne, Bill Goss and Marty Regan (Mayor Wharton of course) and the many organizations represented on our Board of Directors.

Our efforts feature collaboration to get things done. Please understand that as we make further progress there will be plenty of opportunies for taking credit for the good work of making Memphis a more livable community. We ask that you continue to support us and join with us. We can accomplish great things TOGETHER.

Syd Lerner
Executive Director
Greater Memphis Greenline

8:57 AM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

Mr. Lerner, that's really good stuff to hear. What you shared appears to be the piece that's missing.

Building a creatively sustainable Memphis requires, imho, sharing the stories and recipes, and singing all the heroes, so new groups can learn from and build on what came before, so that they know they can do it too.

In a musical city like Memphis, there should be no unsung heroes (unless they don't want to be sung, e.g., the donors).

Thank you and GMG for your hard work, and congratulations.

11:51 AM  
Blogger MRC-T said...

That is an awesome video!

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Larry Lagarde said...

Stay on target! Ultimately, the goal is to make this trail reality. Only if the trail happens will the name & credit have any relevance.

Larry Lagarde

9:21 AM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

Actually the Greenline does not end at Farm Road. I live at G'twn and Macon and have run the Greenline west to the Farms and east as far as Macon Rd where it turns north past old Cordova. It's rough - the rocks are large, but it's open. A friend said they thought it was open all the way to Lenow.

5:58 AM  
Blogger Ruth's Daughter said...

Great video!! I can hardly wait!!!

8:34 AM  

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