On a beautiful day, on the Riverfront

Enjoying the beauty in Tom Lee Park at sunset.

Below Flood Stage - Truck Remains Still on Cobblestone Landing

The City has a good new program to fight blight, and one citizen grabbed the chance to tell City officials about the need for better maintenance of the Pyramid. Click HERE for story & video.

But it's not just the Pyramid that needs attention.

The Commercial Appeal showed a photo of this truck on the Cobblestone Landing in Feb. The water has been up and is now heading down, but the truck, or at least parts of it, still remains.

Who's responsible? In 2000 Mayor Herenton signed a 10 year contract with the Riverfront Development Corporation to manage the land along the River. Does that include maintenance?

Down to Earth: Celebrate a Milestone

AND Test Your Savvy on our Earth Day Quick Quiz!

Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Earth Day with Shelby Farms Conservancy, April 15-26. Wherever your neighborhood is located in our community, there's something you can do as a good neighbor - even just by keeping it clean! Click HERE to find out the fun activities scheduled in or near your own neighborhood.

Earth Day Quick Quiz:

1. Who got the ball rolling for Earth Day in USA?
(a) President John F. Kennedy
(b) Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin
(c) John Muir, founder of Sierra Club

4 more questions & answers. Read more »

Thoughts on Urban Landscapes - 2 Cutting-Edge Gurus Bring Ideas to Memphis

James Corner and his firm are redesigning our own Shelby Farms Park. His other projects include New York's High Line and Fresh Kills parks, the new design of Seattle's waterfront, Santa Monica's new civic park, and other large projects in China, Korea, and Brazil.

John Hopkins is responsible for the design of the parkland and public realm setting for the London 2012 Olympic Games and has worked on a wide range of projects including strategic environmental planning, master planning, urban design, park planning and implementation in Great Britain, Malysia, Australia, Hong Kong, and the U.S.

Both will be in Memphis to speak on the new role landscape architecture is playing in creating urban environments and to celebrate the opening of Discovery Woodland Playground at Shelby Farms Park.

People, Places & Landscapes: Designing the 21st Century Urban Fabric
Thurs., Apr. 7
Luncheon Presentation: 11 am; Tour: 2-3pm.
@ Ducks Unlimited National Headquarters, 1 Waterfowl Way
Sponsored by Shelby Farms Park & ULI Memphis
Cost: $25.
To register phone 800-321-5011.

High Water - Cobblestone Landing in Business

In business since 1960 at the Memphis Cobblestone Landing, Mississippi Riverboats isn't daunted by the high water.

Captain Lozier took visitors and locals out for a tour at 2:30 pm as usual.

For a little history about the boats and the family that has delighted Memphians with rides on the Big Muddy for 50 years, click HERE.

Go down to the Cobblestone Landing and take a ride. For a tour schedule, click HERE.

Mississippi at 34.08' & Rising

River Flood Warning for Shelby County, TN
Issued by The National Weather Service
12 pm, Tues. Mar. 15, 2011
(click on map to enlarge)

Flood stage for the Memphis area is 34' on the river gauge, and, from the Memphis bluff, the vastness and width of the River's floodplain becomes increasingly apparent. Unprotected farmland, mainly on the AR side, is flooded, and the drive across the water is about 3-miles. Forecast for Wednesday is for the River to hit 35', at which point the mainline levee system is flooded.

Sunday looks like a good time to grab your camera and join the Sierra Club for an Equinox River Bluff Sunset Walk. Click HERE for details.

For the record:
* at 40', there is exstensive backwater flooding in western Shelby County from the Loosahatchie and Wolf rivers;
* at 48', Riverside Drive and Tom Lee Park is flooded;
* Record River Levels for Memphis: 48.7' in 1937 and 45.8' in 1927.

Rivers & Creeks Circle Memphis

Some of them are underground. Others are channeled into concrete culverts. But whether we see them today or not, lots of smaller rivers, creeks and bayous flow through Memphis into the Mississippi, draining approximately 928,700 square miles.

Click on maps to enlarge:
* Memphis 1842
* Memphis & Shelby County 1999

The river and creek floodplains could form an emerald necklace throughout the area for recreation, hiking, biking, paddling, and natural areas.

Memphis's Underground History - Bayou Gayoso

Jimmy Ogle took Fox New's Darrell Greene for an underground - through Bayou Gayoso - look at Memphis history. It's a wonderful peek back in time and a look at the city's infrastructure.

The Underground City: MyFoxMEMPHIS.com

Bayou Gayoso drains much of downtown and sections of midtown. For a map, click HERE.

McKellar Lake Needs & Gets Clean-Up Help

McKellar Lake draws month-long clean-up effort by Living Lands & Waters. Chad Pregrack, founder and president of the group, told Commercial Appeal reporter Tom Charlier that he's "never seen anything like it."

Cleaning Up McKellar Lake: MyFoxMEMPHIS.com

For more info. on McKellar Lake - its history, heyday & problems - click HERE.

St. Patrick's Day - Memphis 2011

Wear green, dine on corned beef and cabbage -- Celebrate our city's Irish heritage.

Early Memphis was built close to the River, and Irish settlers played an important role in the life of the city. One of their contributions was to help pave the Memphis Landing with cobblestones.

Eugene Magevney who settled here in 1833 was instrumental in establishing Memphis’s first public schools and St. Peter's, the first Catholic Church in Memphis. Later immigrants, fleeing the Irish Potato Famine (1845 - 1850), settled, worked, and opened businesses in downtown's Pinch area. Named for the "pinchgut" look of the malnourished immigrants, the Pinch neighborhood encompassed all of Memphis north of Adams Street, from the River east to Third Street.
Read more »

40 Years Ago Citizens Saved Overton Park

On March 2, 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a final decision in Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe, effectively preventing Interstate 40 from bisecting Overton Park and Midtown Memphis. It was a significant victory for conservationists and subsequently impacted thousands of legal decisions and environmental thought across the nation.

It's a reminder that YOU can make a difference. As Margaret Meade said, Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has!

Citizens to Preserve Overton Park has posted a must-read article and a link to the oral arguments before the Court.

Calling all Dog & Park Lovers

Have you and your dog been to the Memphis Dog Park yet? No, it's not on the riverfront, but to get there, start at the River, head east on Union, south on Hollywood, and east on Avery to 2599 (just east of the Memphis School Board).

If you go on Friday, March 4 at 10am, you can join Memphis City Beautiful and the Division of Park Services in a tree planting to celebrate Arbor Day.

Authenticity a Big Draw for Filmmakers

Writer-director Paul Greengrass "is very much into reproducing history with as much realism as possible," said Gwen Harmon, spokesperson for the National Civil Rights Museum.

"Because we're a historic site (listed in the National Register of Historic Places), the exterior of the Lorraine Motel is as it was in 1968, which would be very helpful."

That's great news for Memphis, where producers are scouting locations for a major new Greengrass film "Memphis" about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They would like to use the Lorraine Motel as the setting for a large portion of the film.

The new movie on Dr. King is being made by Universal Pictures and produced by Scott Rudin, whose credits include two 2011 Oscar nominations, "The Social Network" and "True Grit," and the 2008 Oscar winner "No Country for Old Men." Other films directed by Greengrass include "United 93," "Bloody Sunday," "Green Zone," "The Resurrection," "Bourne Supremacy," and "Bourne Ultimatum."

For Commercial Appeal article, click HERE.

River & Rail - International Port of Memphis Attracts Electrolux & Mitsubishi

Since the 1800s, when cotton shipped from the Cobblestone Landing made Memphis and the United States a major player in the world economy, Memphis’s waterfront has been big business. And that’s still true today. Electrolux and Mitsubishi have chosen to open facilities in Memphis and their decisions were based in part on the fact that Memphis is a major river/railroad connector.

The International Port of Memphis is the 4th largest inland port in the U.S. It serves companies on downtown’s familiar Wolf River Harbor, but it also encompasses sections of the waterfront many citizens don’t often see.

The Port includes McKeller Lake/Presidents Island, West Memphis Harbor, Wolf River Harbor, Rivergate Harbor, and Fullen Dock and Harbor (north of downtown). Electrolux’s facility will be at Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park and Mitsubishi’s, practically next door at Rivergate. Click on map to enlarge.

In 2008, 27.6% of all waterborne commerce in the United States traveled on the Mississippi River, and the International Port of Memphis received shipments of 16.3 million tons, or 2.4% of the total shipped on the river. Dollar-wise the port’s economic impact was approximately 6.7 billion dollars.

Click for news coverage of Electrolux and Mitsubishi decisions.