Serve901 joins other Memphis Organizations to revitalize Washington Bottoms

The Washington Bottoms is a long-dormant community park and garden tucked between Midtown and The Medical District. What once housed the hustle of life, has now laid untouched and overgrown for many years. 

The park and community garden sit on 1.7 acres of undeveloped land and have almost undergone many renovations. In 2016, speculations arose that the blighted property would be sold to Kroger, and there were even tales of the first Midtown Target. Over the years, the area switched from hand to hand, but developers had made no real progress. 

Read the history and saga of Washington Bottoms Community Park and Garden here.  

Many organizations like, The Works CDC, have been hosting community clean-ups at the Washington Bottoms.

Read a Q&A with Mary Baker, city planner and master gardener at The Works CDC. 

Residents around the property expressed their frustrations that the land, brimming with potential, has become a dumping ground.

However, The Works CDC, in collaboration with Memphis City Beautiful and other organizations, recognizes that potential and is providing the park with much-needed TLC.

The Works have been in discussion about transforming the space into an urban farm, and even including some walking trails. 

Last Saturday, March 16th, a large number of volunteers banded together to spruce up the space. Partners included Memphis Tilth, The Works, Memphis City Beautiful, and Serve901.

Serve901 is a City Leadership campaign THAT SERVES to host trips for college-aged young adults.

These groups fully immersive themselves in the city and participate in service-learning experiences to understand and serve with Memphis. Each year they host over 1000 students to help alongside over 70 Memphis organizations. 

On Saturday, volunteers at the event worked to peel back years of neglect and blight that have been building on the property. They even got creative as they painted over a graffiti-covered utility box, stained the entry fence, and spruced it up with painted butterflies.

Volunteers also planted 20 native buttonbush shrubs and native red mulberry trees-native plants to attract pollinators and provide food for birds.

Serve901 is thankful to partner with impactful organizations like The Works CDC, NPI, and Memphis City Beautiful. They work endlessly to make Memphis as beautiful, bright, and wondrous as we all see it. 

"I volunteered for the opportunity to serve others. I left with an imprint that has me challenging my life’s direction and purpose…life-changing. ."
Natalie MORGAN
Serve901 Student from Auburn University

Interested in learning how you or your group can join the next clean up project? Reach out to Michelle Wilson.

Want to know more? about Serve901 and their volunteer experiences.


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