Revamped pop-up park on Beale Street Landing hopes to be summer hit

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis River Parks Partnership held its first "Love Your Memphis River Parks" volunteer weekend.

People from across the Bluff City gathered to create a pop-up park. With gallons of paint and rollers in hand, dozens of volunteers showed up downtown to turn the Beale Street Landing parking lot into a park mural.

You may remember River Play, a similar project in 2017 on Riverside Drive. Organizers said the pop-up park was a huge hit, but it shut down part of the street so based on feedback they decided to do something different.

"We're putting it in the parking lot. I think it's a much better location. We're going to have tons of people out here playing basketball, lawn games, ping-pong, we're going to have some skate nights as well," George Abbott with Memphis River Parks Partnership said.

Volunteers painting on Saturday said it's all about creating a sense of pride in the community. They hope families will come out enjoy themselves and make it their own.

JoHanna Thompson is a teacher and volunteer with Neighborhood Preservation Inc.

"If you choose to spend your time doing something that's going to help people and help you build relationships with other people, it's definitely time well spent," she said.

In addition to painting, workers also planted trees, cleaned cobblestone, and constructed kiosks along Tom Lee and Greenbelt Park and Mud Island.

The new River Play location will open Friday.

"The parks are really a place where all of Memphis comes together, and this is what we wanted to do with this volunteer weekend is bring people out, have them kind of invest their time and sweat equity into the park, and it's going really well," Abbott said.

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