MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Memphis’ Audubon Park is undergoing an $8 million makeover to the golf course, playground, and other areas, but the planned changes have some residents saying not so fast.
The $2.6 million plan also includes a new playground and picnic area and additional amenities including LED lighting.
Park visitors like Anthony Crutcher will quickly tell you it’s one of their favorite places.
“A lot of greenery. It’s nice and peaceful. Like I say you can really really enjoy yourself when you come out,” Crutcher said.
It is the tranquil setting that some worry will be impacted as the City of Memphis plans the major renovations.
A group called Saving Audubon Park says there was little to no information released about the plan to folks who frequent the park and they worry the park’s greenspace is in jeopardy as changes are made to the golf course.
They’ve even created savingaudubonpark.org, a website where they tout “Park Not Pars” and urge citizens to call city leaders and “protect what we have”.
They have caused enough stir to get attention from the city, which is now planning more community meetings. While some welcome the progress, others hope it doesn’t ruin Audubon.
“I would hope they would keep it spiritually natural down to nature like it is now, you know the ponds, the ducks and all of that,” said resident Valentino Young. “And keep the atmosphere in a natural environment.”
We asked the City of Memphis for an interview about the plans, but were told no one could talk in time for our story. The city did say they have heard the citizens concerns and that nothing is final yet.
Some residents like Nell Collins welcome the progress.
“I was surprised to see it, but I am not upset about it. I am not saying why they are doing this, that, or the other ’cause I think they are going to make it better,” Collins said.
The city is scheduling another meeting to hear concerns from citizens but right now they say no meeting date has been set.