Memphis River Parks Partnership responds to criticism over park maintenance

Memphis River Parks Partnership responds to criticism over maintenance

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis River Parks Partnership, the group behind the $60 million proposed renovation of Tom Lee park, is firing back at critics who say MRPP can’t maintain the parks it already manages.

MRPP was called out on twitter this week, accused of not cutting the grass at Greenbelt park on Mud Island. WMC Action News 5 reported similar complaints last month. MRPP CEO Carol Coletta took to twitter to respond, saying MRPP operated on a 14-day, often 10-day grass cutting schedule. A minor twitter war followed, and the next day multiple lawn crews showed up at the park.

MRPP controller Art Davis says flooding from the Mississippi River and excessive rainfall this year have made maintenance a challenge at Greenbelt Park.

"This year," he said, "we had unusually high river stages. And with such a wet season, the grass is growing much quicker than normal, so we're trying to get to a 7 to 10 day cycle."

In July, when we reported citizens concerns about tall weeds and overgrown grass at Greenbelt, Harbor Town homeowner Jason Rosselot expressed concern that perhaps MRPP wouldn't be able to handle the added maintenance of Tom Lee Park after its multi-million dollar transformation.

"The weeds were two feet tall," he said of Greenbelt Park. "MRPP let it get out of hand. That's where people go to take pics of the bridge and see the river. How are they (MRPP) going to take care of Tom Lee Park?"

Davis says lawn crews and landscapers are absolutely involved in the discussions as the final design of Tom Lee Park is figured out.

“We’re working hand in hand with maintenance and the design team,” he said, “to make sure we deliver a park that is great for Memphis and everyone who visits Memphis, but at the same time is able to be maintained to the standards everyone wants.”

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