River Garden Park opens along downtown riverfront

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — River Garden Park officially opened Friday night at Riverside and Jefferson.

The park used to be Mississippi River Park, which was essentially an open field.

The new park has a lot of cool features like life-size bird nests people can get in and look out from.

The same project that made that park possible will also lead to the renovation of Tom Lee Park next year, and plenty of other things too. It's all part of a $70 million effort to transform the riverfront.

The money comes from the city, county,  and private donors like the Hyde Foundation. George Abbott is with Memphis River Parks Partnership, a non-profit group that administers these projects.

"Look at what other cities have done. Think of kind of Millenium Park in Chicago is one of the top attractions in the city, Central Park in New York. For us to be able to create an asset like that in our downtown is a huge opportunity for the city," Abbott says.

This project is also responsible for a walking and biking trial that connects Mud Island to Big River Crossing by utilizing the riverfront.

Construction on the Tom Lee Park project will start after Memphis in May.