MEMPHIS, Tenn. — City officials and city leaders took part in a public forum Wednesday night to answer questions about planned renovations to Audubon Park in East Memphis.
The $8 million project includes a new playground, pavilion, a futsal court, an expanded golf course, and a driving range.
A group called Save Audubon Park is concerned about losing eight acres of greenspace for the golf course and driving range and a lack of transparency on the part of the city.
Around 150 people took part in the meeting at the Botanical Garden, where the Parks Department admitted they had not released enough information to the community.
“We screwed up,” said Memphis Parks Director Nick Walker.
Walker said they made the mistake of not reaching out to everyone that will be affected by the project.
“We had a meeting with friends of Audubon, but we felt it was important to engage more than just the friends of Audubon,” said Community Engagement Administrator Adrianna Moore. “We want to hear from you, hear your thoughts.”
The Parks Department plans to take eight acres from an existing twenty acres to enlarge the golf course, and add a short course and a driving range.
Walker said the improved golf course and practice facility would give people of all ages more access to the park and attract golf tournaments.
Those concerned about losing trees and eight acres of greenspace asked the city to consider a compromise.
“Keeping the park land, extending the golf course, and just not having a driving range that we don’t really need,” said Angela Link with Save Audubon Park.
Construction work on the park is expected to begin this winter and be finished by early summer.
When asked if any changes could be made to the project at this point, Director Walker said it depends on the scale of the change.