Monday, June 19, 2023

The Compromise Plan Rendering

All area south of the service road north of the lake will be preserved as green space!


The following is the information that mobilized Memphians and helped to stop the destruction of Audubon Park, the verbiage has not been changed to the past tense, but the battle is over and the Park is safe.

 Audubon Park has existed for decades in Memphis as a great asset to the community, providing tennis, golf, a treed walking trail and importantly a wonderful, serene, natural greenspace with a lake for picnics, walking, frisbee, and just relaxing and enjoying the beauty of nature.

Only by virtue of reading articles published in the Daily Memphian and the Commercial Appeal were Memphians notified that the City of Memphis Parks Department has eminent plans (groundbreaking November 1) to eliminate public use of the beautiful greenspace by the lake at Audubon Park by turning all of the land at the east end, adjacent to Perkins Ext'd into GOLF HOLES as part of a refurbishing of the Audubon Course (scroll down for diagrams). 

Despite the Mayor's suggestion that he wants transparency in his administration, there have been no public meetings to discuss the plan or get feedback from the people who currently use this area, the taxpayers of Memphis.

This area is a gathering place for people of all ages as they take a walk, walk their dogs, picnic, feed the ducks, play frisbee, spend their lunch break relaxing by the lake or the myriad of other things that people do on the open green space of a park. Where will they go? If you suggest Marquette Park consider that it is loud, surrounded by busy roads, has much of the space taken up by playgrounds (which is great for the purpose of that park), has no dedicated parking and AND HAS NO NATURAL AREA AND LAKE. 

“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

In addition to the varied, daily use of Audubon Park, the area to be destroyed has for decades been the home of the Pink Palace Crafts Fair, a 50-year tradition that moved to Audubon when they outgrew the lawn of the Palace. Despite this longstanding relationship, Friends of the Pink Palace, who operate the Fair, were only made aware of this plan to take away this space on September 13th, 2022. Where will they go next year? They have no idea. Why are they just now being told? Probably because the Parks Dept. did not want the public aware any sooner, recognizing the probable outcry against their plan.

What will happen to Cancer Survivor's Park? Who knows! Even if they leave it where will visitors park? This is an important and heartfelt tribute to those that have fought the a huge battle, will it just be cast aside for golf holes?

Please do not construe this desire to save Audubon Park as anti-golf. We love golf and are pleased that the City of Memphis already offers 32,184 yards of golf with its 7 courses. Additionally, Memphis golfers also can chose from the 17 other public and private courses in and around the city. Memphis is a golf town with a history of producing some of the best golfers in the State and country and it has done that with the yardage of courses that already exist. Audubon Course, as it exists today, is 6488 yards, only 120 yards shorter than Chickasaw, the newly redesigned course by the same designer. Memphis Parks is capable of making the course great without making it bigger. We aren't even arguing against the millions of dollars that will be spent on the renovation of the Audubon course, only the plan to take away and privatize this beloved green space and lake...the last in East Memphis.

If this project moves forward the public will no longer have access to a place we love...and we own.

In his Daily Memphian interview Memphis Parks Dir., Nick Walker said,

“… (we are) making sure amenities that may not be available in a neighborhood park like a golf course, tennis facility or splash pad are available at a regional site…"

There is already a course at Audubon...and another 1.8 miles away at Galloway, they have ALREADY made sure golf is available. What isn't readily available in Memphis is open, natural green space available for the public to freely enjoy.

Green space is very limited in Memphis. We MUST protect what we have now and for generations to come. 

Scroll through the rest of our pages to get a full picture of the issue.

Audubon now with outline of what will be taken for holes.

Course Design from City with corresponding area marked for comparison