The Mid-South Regional Greenprint Plan Officially Released

Release date: 2/5/2015

Memphis, Tenn.— The Mid-South Regional Greenprint plan was officially released today by Mayor Wharton, Mayor Luttrell, John Zeanah of the Office of Sustainability and Robin Smithwick with the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle. This plan focuses on strengthening the region’s green spaces, trails and bike lanes, ultimately giving 80 percent of households and jobs in the region access to a greenprint corridor within one mile of their location. The plan connects green spaces across Shelby County, Fayette County, TN, Crittenden County, AR, and DeSoto County, MS.

“This plan will give our citizens access to more parks and trails than ever before and is a major attractor for others to move to Memphis,” said A C Wharton, Jr. City of Memphis Mayor.
“Shelby County sees the value in enhancing our region’s greenprint which can increase property values and help retain our young professionals,” said Mark H. Luttrell, Jr., Shelby County Mayor.
The Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability worked with a consortium of over 80 organizations representing over 300 individuals from the tri-state region on the plan since 2012 and was completed in November of 2014. The plan, once implemented, will connect 95% of existing parks and will create 500 miles of off-street greenway trails and create 200 miles of on-street bike lanes.
“The support we have received from Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee has been essential in pulling together such an ambitious plan,” said John Zeanah, Administrator, Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability.
 The Office of Sustainability partnered with the Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle, receiving support and assistance in collaborating with entities across the region to get the plan adopted in 22 jurisdictions in three states.
“The Chairman’s Circle, which consists of more than 100 CEOs in this region, decided to support this greenprint plan because we understand the transformative impact it can have on our community,” said Robert Smithwick, III, Chair of the Chairman’s Circle Green Space Moon Mission and Managing Principal of Diversified Trust. “This plan will help the Mid-South Region compete on a national scale by enhancing our ability to attract top talent and jobs, and will also improve the quality of life in our community.”
“This plan has the kind of vision you’re going to see more of in Memphis,” said Phil Trenary, President & CEO, Greater Memphis Chamber. “It has been a great role model of collaboration and one we’ll be using to address other regional issues.”
Key Points & Links:

  • The Mid-South Regional Greenprint Plan is a 25 year plan that was created in a collaborative effort by over 80 organizations (public-private partnership) including entities across 18 cities, 4 counties and 3 states in this region.
  • This plan will create 500 miles of off-street trails and 200 miles of on-street bike lanes.
  • 80% of households and jobs will be within 1 mile of a greenprint corridor with this plan.
  • Connects 95% of existing parks and green spaces-enhancing their importance to the region.
  • This was identified as a Chairman’s Circle moon mission because over 100 CEOs in the Memphis region have seen how this kind of amenity has helped other communities be successful. With the fierce competition for jobs and talent, green spaces will help differentiate Memphis on a national scale.
  • Property values can increase and the tax base will be more fortified. View the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy Economic Impact on the greenline to get an example of how valuable these kinds of amenities can be:
  • This unprecedented collaboration across city and even state lines is because this regional plan will be transformative for our region. The success of this collaboration has made it a role model for future types of regional collaboration.

The Chairman’s Circle is a leadership body created to engage Memphis business leaders on a variety of issues that affect Memphis and the Mid-South. The group’s intention is to cause transformational change through leadership working closely with civic partners and public officials.   
The Greater Memphis Chamber is the lead economic development agency for Memphis/Shelby County, and is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of 2,500 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals.