Overton Park confident it will raise $1M needed for Greensward solution

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Overton Park Conservancy said it will have the $1 million needed to move forward with a parking solution at Overton Park. Memphis Zoo said it has its portion of the money, but is skeptical if OPC will be able to come up with its share of money.

Memphis City Council said the zoo and the Overton Park Conservancy had to prove they each had $1 million for the parking structure by June 11. That was a month ago.

Memphis Zoo said it had the money. OPC refused to say how much money it had raised.

"We are coming up on the halfway mark on that timeline and we are just past the halfway mark on our goal," OPC Executive Director Tina Sullivan said.

OPC leaders said in a month they have raised $512,000 through a grassroots online funding campaign.

Sullivan said the group has received donations from 16 states, including one $25,000 match and another $25,000 match. There is also a $1,000 match campaign set for this Tuesday.

"About one third of the donors to this campaign are brand new donors to the OPC. These are park supporters that we've never met before that have stepped in at this critical time," Sullivan said.

Last month's deal with City Council also cut the size of the parking spaces.

The lot, once complete, will end controversial zoo parking on the Overton Park Greensward. The zoo had expressed skepticism the OPC would pay its share, but Sullivan said it'll come up with its share of the funds.

"We're very confident we are going to meet that deadline and raise that million dollars by June 11," Sullivan said.

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