Greensward protest planned for Saturday

Protests planned on Overton Park Greensward

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Greensward supporters plan to continue their protest of Memphis Zoo on Saturday.

Citizens to Preserve Overton Park planned what they're calling a "play date." They're asking supporters to come out to Overton Park to try and make the park seem full.

The protest is the latest effort to stop Memphis Zoo from using a part of the park for overflow parking.

Click here to read all our coverage of the Greensward controversy.

Midtown resident Martha Kelly is concerned with how the zoo is handling the parking situation.

"I'm appalled at the level of parking that's going on," Kelly said. "It's doubled out here since the city council just gave the zoo free reign."

Memphis Zoo said it only uses part of the Greensward as overflow parking as a last resort. Spring is the most popular time of year for zoo visitors, so over the last couple weeks the zoo has been forced to utilize overflow parking.

Saturday is expected to be another busy day for Memphis Zoo. That is why Citizens to Preserve Overton Park planned their protest for that day.

The group is asking supporters to come out Saturday and bring as many people as possible to conduct a peaceful protest.

Zoo patrons said Wednesday that they need some place to park when visiting the zoo.

"I think they should make the parking lot accommodate everybody who wants to come to the zoo," one zoo visitor said.

Both sides continue mediation with the city of Memphis on the parking issue. Memphis owns all the land in question--the zoo, the greensward, and Overton Park.

While mediation continues, the city of Memphis said the zoo could continue to use the Greensward for overflow parking.

Greensward supporters said that decision is not fair.

"We're sitting in the middle of a public land with SUV's hulking over us," Kelly said. "It's the only retreat that we have in the middle of the city...let's find a solution that works for everybody."

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