MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Big River Park Conservancy has secured 1,500 acres of Arkansas floodplain land across from downtown Memphis for a wetlands conservancy to be named Ducks Unlimited Park.

The nonprofit, which also oversees the Big River Crossing pedestrian bridge over the Mississippi River and connected Big River Trails, made the announcement Thursday.

Chris Ware, a native Memphian who has led West Tennessee conservation and land stewardship efforts since 2017, has been named executive director. He will be responsible for day-to-day operations and project oversight of Ducks Unlimited Park master plan implementation.

The 1,500-acre park contains miles of trails on the Arkansas side of the river, connected to downtown Memphis by pedestrian bridge.

Ducks Unlimited, a Memphis-based wetlands conservation organization, will return the acquired land to its natural habitat as well as introduce new trails, a welcome pavilion with an outdoor classroom and restrooms and an off-leash retriever training dog park. Ritchie Smith Associates is designing the master plan.

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