Equinox Sunset - Walk the Bluff

One of the best ways to enjoy the natural beauty of our riverfront is to stroll the Bluff Walk. And sunset on the Equinox (Sat., Sept. 22) looks like the perfect time and weather. Time: 5:30 - 7 pm.

Sue A. Williams, Sierra Club - Chickasaw Chapter chairman, will lead the walk and probably head to dinner afterwards with those who are interested. Meet at Union & Riverside; parking meters along Wagner are free on weekends. Don't forget your camera.

And be sure to look for the "Queen Tree" of the Riverfront. Don Richardson's fascinating article in this month's Downtown Neighborhood Association Newsletter tells its story.
You’ve passed by her many times on Riverside Drive. She’s that big leafy green mass that shades the west end of the pedestrian bridge from South Bluffs over to Ashburn-Coppock Park near the River Tower. This is also where the Bluffwalk and Riverwalk merge to continue south along the bluff to Martyrs Park and the Chickasaw Heritage Mounds. Her formal name is Quercus michauxii, but most folks know her as Swamp Chestnut Oak. Even fewer Downtowners know that she may just be the oldest tree on the downtown Memphis riverfront.

To read the full article and learn "how" Ashburn-Coppock Park got its name, click DNA Newsletter or "read more" below.

Read more »

Yahoo Travel - "America's Prettiest Parks"

America has so many beautiful parks - all sizes, in all parts of the country, rural and urban. Yahoo Travel picked their favorites, eliminating the nation's hugely popular national parks, in favor of homegrown local parks.

They represent all parts of the nation, from Alaska, to the north, to Savannah, Ga., in the South. Many of the finest were established in the 19th century; all are cherished parts of their communities.

Click HERE to take a look.

Friend Helps Select Excellence in Design Awards

Plans are underway for the 30th annual Waterfront Center Conference and for presenting this year's Excellence in Design Awards. Our own Virginia McLean, president of Friends for Our Riverfront, served on this year's inter-disciplinary jury to select the best waterfront projects in 2012. But she's not telling who the winners are, only that the projects range from small to gigantic and are scattered around the globe.

Each year the Waterfront Center Conference is a highpoint for planners, architects, landscape architects, and all those interested in waterfront design. This year it will be held in Washington, DC on Sept. 27-29th.

The conference is one of the ways the Waterfront Center provides educational services to help communities enhance their waterfronts - the objective: good design; economic feasibility; tailoring projects to the individuality, history, and economic climate of a community; participatory planning; environmental sensitivity; and provision of the maximum amount of public access to and along a waterfront.

Those same principals are the basis for selecting the Excellence in Design Awards. Mark O. Dawson, principal, Sasaki Associates Inc., Watertown Massachusetts was chairman of the multi-disciplinary jury, which, besides Ms. McLean, included Tim Arntzen, executive director, Port of Kennewick, WA; Eric Burchill, executive director, Waterfront Development Corporation, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; and Mathieu Schouten, landscape architect, Municipality of Nijmegan, The Netherlands.

Click HERE for more information and to register for the conference.

"An Old Forest Fairy Tale" - Grab your young Friends & Go

In Memphis a lot of good things have happened (or haven't happened) because citizens have stood up for our city, our riverfront, our neighborhoods, our people. It happened to support Civil Rights, protect Overton Park, create the Bluffwalk, and, more recently on our riverfront, to prevent damming up the harbor and private development of our public bluff top Promenade.

Friends for Our Riverfront is proud to help sponsor "An Old Forest Fairy Tale," an original children's musical that celebrates Overton Park's Old Forest and perhaps more importantly all the "little old ladies in tennis shoes" who stood up for its protection.

Presented by Voices of the South, the original musical was written by Virginia Ralph and is directed by Alice Berry. It will be presented on Fridays - Sept. 14, 21, 28 at 7 pm and on Saturdays - Sept. 15, 22, and 29 at 3 pm and 7 pm at Evergreen Theatre (1705 Poplar). Tickets ($15/adult, $10/child) are available online or at the door. At 45-minute performance length, it is appropriate for PreK - 8th grades. Phone 901-726-0800 or click HERE.

Last Year's Flood - This Year's Drought

With rain from Isaac, the Mississippi at Memphis is rising and forecast to be at -5.2' on the river gage by next Saturday. Who knows after that, but one thing is crystal clear, the Mississippi River cuts a wide, dramatic floodplain.