Father of Waters

The Mississippi River is at our front door and the place that fills us with a sense of pride, but we sometimes forget how big and important the river is.

Geographically, the Mississippi drains all or parts of 31 U. S. states stretching from the Rocky Mountains in the west to the Appalachian Mountains in the east and from the Canada-U.S. border on the north to the Gulf of Mexico on the south. It's the 4th longest river in the world and the 10th most powerful.

Its largest tributary, the Missouri River, known as the River of the Big Canoe, flows in from the west. Here's a ballad about the history and significance of the Missouri.

Riverman John Ruskey

Riverman John Ruskey is one of the speakers at Gather at the River. His love for the river and its cultural heritage is contagious. In this video, he tells us a little about the Native American heritage just to the south of us in the Mississippi Delta and about the forests cut and swamps drained to farm cotton.

For info. about Ruskey's Quapaw Canoe Company, its programs and paddling the river with him, click HERE.

Cooper Young Enthusiasm

We always knew you wanted your voice heard, but we were completely blown away by the enthusiasm at Cooper Young Festival to be part of grading the past 10 years on our riverfront. Thank you to all of you who stopped by the FfOR booth and took part.

Thank you from the Harbor

Things look so much better around the public boat ramp under A. W. Willis (Auction) Bridge after a couple of hours of work. Thank you to the volunteers and Sierra Club!

Join FfOR at Cooper Young Festival

Sat., Sept. 18, 2010
9am – 7 pm
Booth A97
(W. side of Cooper, between Elzey & Evelyn)
Rain date – Sun., Sept. 19

Cooper Young is always so much fun - a great street festival! Stop by A97, catch-up, & let us know what you think about our riverfront.
To volunteer to help at the booth, click HERE and send us an e-mail.

For more info. on festival, click HERE.

Gather at the River

Stewardship of the river - our water, public land, and cultural heritage - is the fundamental goal of Friends for Our Riverfront.

On Sept. 24th and 25th there's an exciting opportunity to gather near the river, at Bridges (477 North 5th Street @ A. W. Willis/Auction Str.) for a faith-based conference on the mighty Mississippi and the challenges and opportunities to be good stewards of this incredible asset.

The speaker Friday night is John M. Barry, historian and award-winning author of "Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America," the extraordinary best-seller that captured the might of the river and covered the history and social effect of the 1927 flood.

And Saturday's schedule is filled with a long list of interesting speakers and break-out sessions. For information and to reserve tickets, click HERE.

Gather at the river - it's an opportunity river lovers won't want to miss.

Blufftop Bridge Links Past & Future

Public Promenade begins to be a public promenade again!!
The public plaza on the riverside of the University of Memphis Law School and the new pedestrian bridge that links it to an improved Confederate Park were funded by the Hyde Foundation and are a major step in recreating a beautiful public space on our riverfront. A huge thank you to them for their gift to the public and this important connection. As Mayor A. C. Wharton pointed out at the ribbon cutting, the bridge conceptually and physically links our past to our promising future.

Go down, watch the river, and walk the bridge. The bridge lights are especially fun.

For more information, here's an article by Mary Cashiola for the Flyer.

Trails & Greenways Heading Toward Riverfront!!!

It's time to celebrate the progress being made on trails and greenways and, yes, to start looking at ways to connect our riverfront and downtown.

The Grand Opening of the Shelby Farms Greenline is set for Saturday, October 9. Click HERE for info.

Greater Memphis Greenline is looking ahead at ways to connect downtown and the riverfront. Here's a look at what's being considered:

1. The purchase of a 2-mile section of unused rail near Chelsea Ave., which links Uptown, the Wolf River Greenway and the Mississippi River Trail with nearby schools, St. Jude, Rhodes College and Midtown.

2. The development of a plan to extend the western terminus of the Shelby Farms Greenline to Overton Park on the north and the Fairgrounds to the south.

3. The purchase of a property at the corner of Scott and Broad Avenues to create a trailhead which will link Shelby Farms and Overton Park — the “Park-to-Park” connection.

4. The creation of 400 miles of utility easements into a multi-use trail system, with the permission and support of MLG&W.

Bike Progress for Memphis

Good news: With the focus on sustainability and making Memphis a more livable city, Mayor A. C. Wharton has appointed Memphis's 1st bicycle/pedestrian coordinator, Kyle Wagenschutz!

A 2003 map and commentary on the City website says Memphis has 60+ miles of city streets designated for on-road, shared roadway bike routes. Here's the downtown route. (click to enlarge). To see other city routes, click HERE. A couple of weeks ago, the City agreed to add 50 more miles of bike lanes; click
here to see the proposed additions.

Riverfront Clean-Up - A Chance to Serve

Have fun, serve outdoors on the National Day of Service, and help clean-up an area of the riverfront you may not often see.

When: Sat. Sept. 11, 9-11 a.m.

Where: the free public boat ramp under Auction Street Bridge (access off N. Main, immediately N. of A.W. Willis Bridge)

What to wear/bring: closed-toe shoes you don't mind getting dirty and work gloves.

Sponsored by: Tennessee Water Sentinels/the Chickasaw Group of the Sierra Club and a coalition partners including Friends for Our Riverfront. Cancelled in case of rain.
For more info: contact James Baker (901-826-2448) or tn_water_sentinel@yahoo.com