Restore the Greensward

Overton Park was designed by George Kessler in 1901 as a place for people to play, explore, and enjoy the beauty of open fields and ancient forest. For most of the last century the Greensward has been a peaceful green space in the heart of our park.

In recent years the City of Memphis has allowed the Memphis Zoo to use our historic Greensward as a parking lot on busy days. Our zoo is becoming more popular every year, and so is the rest of our park. The current lack of traffic control and rapidly rising damage to public parkland is unacceptable.

There are a few obvious solutions -- redesigning existing lots to maximize space, running shuttles from satellite parking, encouraging street parking with a circulating shuttle, and building a new parking garage inside the zoo's boundary -- that would end the gridlock and restore the peace for everyone.

We want the Overton Park Greensward restored as a calm public space, not a chaotic private parking lot. We are sick of the noise, dust, fumes, and destruction. We want the cars and trucks to GET OFF OUR LAWN now and forever.

How Can You Help?

1. USE OUR HISTORIC GREENSWARD as it's meant to be used. Be there every Saturday to relax on a picnic blanket, read a book, fly a kite, throw a frisbee, kick a soccer ball, hang out with friends, et cetera, to demonstrate to our elected officials that they are WRONG to destroy this free public gathering space.

2. SEND FRIENDLY EMAILS to Mayor Jim Strickland and the Memphis City Council. Ask them to do the right thing for our parkland: commit to real solutions that do not harm Overton Park, and ban parking on the Greensward immediately.

3. ORDER THE YARD SIGN and t-shirt to show your support and inform your neighbors. Our volunteers will deliver for free! (Want to buy a banner or spread the message in creative ways? Please contact us via GOOL's Facebook page!)

4. DONATE to our "Save the Greensward" ad campaign! We'll get the message out and help fund mass transit at the same time.

Want to Learn More?

You can click here to view and download all pertinent legal contracts and filed lawsuits.