Park Friends, Inc. (PFI) is a unique non-profit group dedicated to providing a community voice for all of Memphis' 165 City Parks. PFI is a Midtown-based group that focuses volunteer efforts on Overton Park, the grand old park of the Memphis, dedicated in 1906 and frequently referred to as the Crown Jewel of Memphis. PFI also supports other park groups and speaks out on park issues facing the entire community.
Park Friends has successfully led efforts to stop inappropriate building and development within Overton Park in the past. PFI is working hard, professionally and courteously with many groups in the Overton Park Alliance, Overton Park Conservancy and City Leaders to preserve, maintain and protect Overton Park, its Greensward and State Natural Area Old Forest from development.
See adjacent column for the current donation needs for the Greensward.
By engaging local officials and concerned citizens alike, PFI helps protect our parks for today and for our children in the future. PFI also organizes regular volunteer clean-ups, maintains the Old Forest and Limestone Trails and plants trees.
PFI, HBC Trailworks and the Mike Cooley Overton Park 10K Trail Race have already contributed significantly to the trail work and maintenance of Limestone and Nature Trails, installation and maintenance of the 14 foot-bridges on the Limestone Trail, maintenance of the 1932 Carriage Bridges in the Old Forest and the refurbishment and maintenance of the 6 Stone Bridges connecting the golf course and the rest of Overton park and the planting of many trees all over Overton Park! Park Friends thanks you for your support!
2020 Park Friends Spring Music Series has been CANCELLED because of COVID-19, check the calendar tab for the Fall dates.
We are sad to report James "Jim" S. Gilliland passed away February 24, 2020. Jim was staunch supporter of Overton Park, the Old Forest Trails, Overton Park Conservancy and Park Friends. Lucia and Jim walked the Trails maybe more than anyone else. Support Jim and his family by supporting Overton Park, OPC and Park Friends.
The annual membership Park Friends party was Friday February 14, 2020, and the turnout was the best in recent memory. Thank you for supporting Park Friends and Overton Park. Next year's party will be February 12, 2021 at 6:30-9:00 pm at the Overton Park Golf House (usually the party is the second Friday in February).
Donations are due, we have fixed the website so click click on the donate tab and support, thank you very much.
WEDNESDAY MUSIC SERIES
All shows 6-8PM at the Overton Park golf clubhouse terrace. Bring your picnic, kids, or dogs, and a donation for Park Friends if you wish. Drinks are for sale in the golf house. Burgers and Dogs will be grilled in 2020; Music dates are April 15 & 29, May 13, 2020. Check the Calendar Tab for more details.
9th Mike Cooley Overton Park 10K Trail Race was Saturday January 25, 2020 and a great day for running and honoring Mike our Race founder. We had 176 finishers and while mother nature made some muddy spots, overall the Trails were and are in great shape. The 10th Annual Race will be January 30, 2021 at 8:00am at the Overton Park Golf House. Enter at https://raceroster.com/events/2020/24323/mike-cooley-overton-park-10k-trail-race We had the same great sponsors to thank this year: our title sponsor Barr Brands, presenting sponsor Briggs Equipment and all our race partners, Start2Finish, Bluff City Sports, HBC Trailworks, Burch Porter & Johnson, Breakaway Running, Marcos Pizza and Southern Whimsy.
Thank you to all Park friends volunteers, HBC Trailworks, OPC, Urban Forestry for clearing the Trails after the storms in January 2020. Thank you to our own Bill Bullock and his team for his tireless work removing invasives and exotics from the Old Forest. Thank you Rhodes College and Eric Bridges with OPC for their scientific study of the Old Forest to help manage and protect the Forest. Thank you AmeriCorps for their repeat volunteerism.
THANK YOU to Coach Shankman's Cross Country and Track Teams. The Rhodes Teams along with Hilton, HBC Trailworks and OPC volunteered multiple days and worked really hard to clean up the Park, pick up trash and refurbish the Limestone and Nature Trails, which are now in really great shape. The Poplar Connector now William's Way also has new limestone (again), soon the Nature Trails will be wonderful with the Woodland Phlox and other natural flowers blooming in the Old Forest, so after these multiple days of trail maintenance, run, jog, hike or stroll and enjoy the Ole Forest!
THANK YOU to all of the volunteers that planted trees, plants and flowers along South Parkway and the golf course in Overton Park and the Limestone Trail work crew that really put in a heavy effort to clean the gutters, foot bridges and the Trail, haul in tons of limestone, fix and maintain the Trail and eliminate the troublesome spots. WooHoo! Run the Trails!
Thank you for attending the meetings and providing all of the good public comments and suggestions for the Overton Park parking plan. This summer Phase I of the construction at Prentiss Place begins. Please use your bicycles and walking legs, share rides or use paid transportation and if in your own vehicle use North Parkway entrance and parking spaces, as the construction will in the short term reduce parking spaces. Thank you for not parking on the Greenswards. Also please support and donate to OPC to save the Greensward at www.overtonpark.org/greensward. OPC must pay its one half share for the construction of the parking plan beginning June to end Greensward parking forever.
Donate, Honor and/or Join Park Friends Today! Your donations, honorariums and memberships provide us the much needed funds for these important projects within Overton Park and other Memphis parks. This website and email blasts will inform on the latest news about Overton Park and our efforts as well as broader parks issues.
As always, thank you for your support!
Thank you. Sam Blair President
Memorials and Honorariums
See more regarding Lisa Sloan under Rebuild the Trails. Lisa is not improving even though she is receiving the best care at the Jewish Home at the end of Walnut Grove.
Riley Higgins November 5, 1999 - July 18, 2016
We are very saddened to report that Barbara and Vince Higgins lost their son Riley. Vince has been a board member for almost 10 years for Park Friends. Riley was a great person. Riley helped us perform trail maintenance along the Overton Park Nature Trails and moved Park Friends historical materials to new storage. We honor Riley; he will be missed by all!
Michael Shannon Cooley, 1968-2016
We honor the memory of our friend and board member who recently passed. The numerous donations in Mike's honor are deeply appreciated by his family and friends. These gifts will be used to further the causes he worked tirelessly for and believed in so strongly. We will all miss him. The support and turnout for the 6th Annual Overton Park 10K Trail Race was awesome, Mike, his family and friends say thank you to all the volunteers and participants.
Recent Volunteer Activities
Volunteers Blair, Wolfman, Barbara G., Barbara B., Linda, Ward, Brooks, Reagan, Andrew, Princess, John, Jr., John, III, Foster, Elizabeth, her brother and father, Jimmy Dean, Eric, Tina, Susannah, Susan, William, Don, Mary, Lee, Mike, OPC, Park Friends, Baker Donelson, HBC Trailworks and many others performed awesome work on the Limestone Trail, the Nature Trails, Foot Bridges, Carriage Bridges and Stone Bridges last Saturday (10/15/16) in Overton Park's SNA Old Forest. THANK YOU!!! Sam
See Rebuild the Trails for more.