This was a big week for Mid-South parks. Members of the Mid-South Greenways Steering Committee took part in the first ever advocacy trip to visit state leaders in Nashville. The group met with leaders at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of the TN Department of Transportation, and the state Greenways and Trails Coordinator. Kathleen Williams, Executive Director of the TN Parks and Greenways Foundation, helped the local members navigate the halls of the Capitol and secured personal meetings with Senators Mark Norris and Jim Kyle.
The groups also hosted a luncheon for Shelby County legislators. Afterwards, the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation hosted a house party to honor the trip and invited Nashville Greenways leaders to share strategies and success stories.
The group started the trip with several important goals: Build awareness among state leaders of recent successes for greenways in the Mid-South, encourage a strong local commitment to a regionally integrated network of greenspaces, as demonstrated in the Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan.
The Mid South Greenways Steering Committee asked state leaders to become champions for greenways and to support the Steering Committee member organizations by taking action to include them in decision-making processes, to report on local successes, and to advocate for additional funding opportunities for greenspaces.
Mid-South Greenways Steering Committee member organizations who attended included: Syd Lerner of Greater Memphis Greenline, Cameron Mann of Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, Greg Maxted of the Harahan Bridge Project, Tina Sullivan of Overton Park Conservancy, Diana Threadgill of Mississippi River Corridor—Tennessee, and Bob Wenner of the Wolf River Conservancy. Additionally, recent Memphis-to-Nashville-transplants Anthony Siracusa of Bike/Walk Tennessee and Matt Farr of the Nature Conservancy lent their support to the group.