News

Wolf River Conservancy Awarded One Million Dollars for Conservation

Wolf River Conservancy has been awarded $1 million in funding for the conservation of wetland and associated upland habitats for waterfowl and other birds within the Wolf River watershed.  This award is made possible through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  NAWCA grants are awarded with the purpose of conserving and restoring important habitats across North... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, July 27, 2022

On the Greenway: 370,000 Visitors Annually

  July is Parks and Recreation Month! The Wolf River Conservancy is bringing attention to how important it is to rise up and support parks and recreation, because every day, park and recreation professionals rise up for their communities in service of equity, climate-readiness, economic development, and overall health and well-being. In 2019, parks and recreation organizations generated over $2.6 billion dollars’ worth of related economic activity in the state of... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, July 25, 2022

Natural Highlights: Fish Crow

West Tennessee differs from Middle and East Tennessee in many ways.  This is the land of swamps and cypress trees, after all, not mountains and rocky creeks. West Tennessee also has two species of crows, the American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) and the Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus), whereas the rest of the state has to make do with just the American Crow.  Except for a slight difference in size, the two species are identical in appearance.  Fish Crows, however, have a... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, July 25, 2022

July 2022: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, "The Earth is what we all have in common” – the quote from American novelist Wendell Berry speaks volumes about the importance of conservation and the outdoors, which is now more relevant than ever. As we continue to fulfill our mission to protect land in the Wolf River watershed, it is essential not only to reflect on our past accomplishments but also to envision our bright future. The nearly 19,000 acres, strategically stretched... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, July 25, 2022

Please Welcome Stewardship Associate Roman Rushing

Roman Rushing has been working with Wolf River Conservancy since March, first as intern, and more recently as a Stewardship Associate, tackling any task at hand.  He has fenced off young saplings to protect them from beavers, assisted with the Wolf River Restoration Series service projects in the spring, helped kids learn to kayak at Epping Way, picked up trash along the Wolf River, and helped to clean out a very hot storage unit - just to name a few of the things he's... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, July 25, 2022

2022 Discover the Greenway Raises Over $50K!

   On behalf of the Wolf River Conservancy, thank you for your participation in our 3 rd annual Discover the Greenway event, presented by Jim Keras Subaru!  You made this event a success in so many ways, including raising over $50,000  to support the work of the Wolf River Conservancy!  Fundraising for Discover the Greenway will continue through July 15 at wolfriver.org/discover .  As a quick event recap, we wanted to share a few... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Introducing Conservancy Intern Emma Sorette

Emma Sorette is interning with us this summer, lending a hand with many different activities indoors and outdoors.  She had accompanied our Conservation Director on land inspections, helped maintain the Ghost River paddling trail, assisted with education programs and youth paddling, and taken on several stewardship tasks such as protecting young trees from beaver damage and managing pollinator beds.  We are lucky to have such a hard worker who is also very interested in plants,... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Greenway Community Programming Pauses for Summer

As the Wolf River Conservancy continues to build out the 26-mile Wolf River Greenway trail, we are committed enhancing the trail experience for users by offering educational and recreational programming along the 14 miles of trail currently open to the public. These programs are free to attend, and all equipment is provided to eliminate any financial barrier to participation.  We began offering these opportunities in the summer of 2021, and over 650 people joined... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, June 24, 2022

June 2022: A Message from Our Director

We are pleased to share with you the continued progress we are making in supporting our core mission: protecting and enhancing the Wolf River and its watershed as a sustainable resource. As most of you know, our primary activity in support of this mission is land conservation. The Wolf River Conservancy has protected a cumulative total approaching 19,000 acres in the Wolf River watershed since our founding, 4,100 of them within the past 10 years. Strictly from a real... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Natural Highlights: Zebra Swallowtail

  Photo by Megan McCarty Instantly recognizable with its black and white zebra stripes and especially long-tailed wings, our state butterfly depends on the presence of Pawpaw trees in our forests to survive. Zebra Swallowtail females lay their eggs only on the young leaves of Pawpaw trees which are common the understory of our native forests.  Pawpaws provide the caterpillars with both a food source and the mildly toxic acetogenins which render the... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, June 22, 2022

May 2022: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, With 14 miles of the Wolf River Greenway now open to the public, it is exciting to see bikers and hikers increasing their usage of the trail every week. It is also exciting that the Wolf River Conservancy is providing a wide variety of free community programs which offer additional reasons to enjoy the Wolf River Greenway and beyond. Just look at what we have planned for the Memorial Day weekend on the Wolf River Greenway… ... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Discover the Greenway Begins on June 18th!

Discover the Greenway is open for registration and fundraising! Our scavenger hunt will take place at different points along the Wolf River Greenway, and participants will once again have the opportunity to take selfies at these sites and submit for a chance to win our grand prizes.   New this year – we will be introducing outdoor programs during the week of Discover the Greenway for participants to enjoy together including fitness programs, nature walks, bike... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, May 25, 2022

On the Greenway: A Celebration at Wolf River Crossing

     Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris, Director of Memphis Parks Nick Walker, and other community members joined Wolf River Conservancy board and staff members to officially open the newest section of the Wolf River Greenway with a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 17th. The new section connects the Wolf River Greenway, Germantown Greenway, and Shelby Farms Greenline through the Lucius Burch State Natural Area. ... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Please Welcome Shea Childress, Our New Accounting and Administrative Specialist!

We are very pleased to introduce our newest staff member, Shea Childress, a recent graduate of Christian Brothers University, where she received her Bachelor's in Business Administration with a concentration in commercial banking. While at Christian Brothers, Shea received the “First-Year Leader of the Year” award in 2018.  She also served as the Zeta Tau Alpha Director of Philanthropy.  Since January, Shea has served as a Wolf River Conservancy... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Natural Highlights: Copper Iris

Designated as one of Tennessee's threatened species, the Copper Iris ( Iris fulva ) is native to southern wetlands, including those found in the Wolf River floodplain. The distinctive reddish blooms appear in May and can be glimpsed near the Wolf River Greenway at Epping Way, Kennedy Park, Wolf River Crossing and other locations.  Copper irises are pollinated by both hummingbirds and bumblebees and make nice additions to the home garden, doing well in soil that is kept moist. The... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, May 24, 2022

On the Greenway: May 5th Ribbon Cutting at Wolf River Crossing

  The newest section of the Wolf River Greenway will be officially opened Thurs., May 5th. On Thursday 5 th , 2022, the Wolf River Conservancy along with Memphis and Shelby County Mayors will be performing a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the Wolf Crossing Section of the Wolf River Greenway. This section, opened in November 2021, connects the Wolf River Greenway and Shelby Farms Greenline through the Lucius Burch State Natural Area via a 270-foot cable-stayed suspension bridge and a... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Great Earth Day Effort by Volunteers at Kennedy Park!

    On Saturday, April 23rd, 64 volunteers pitched in to help with our Earth Day Service Project, collecting 700 pounds of trash, planting 25 trees, removing invasive privet, hauling lumber needed to repair a wetland boardwalk, and constructing, painting and/or installing 18 bat and bird houses. Thanks to everyone for their hard work on a beautiful spring morning!         Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, April 26, 2022

April 2022: A Message from Our Director

Saturday’s Earth Day Service Project at Kennedy Park concluded this year’s 2022 Wolf River Restoration Series  - and what a successful series it has been!  A total of 530 volunteers participated in our project this year – an astounding response from the community. The volunteer response this year was amazing!  Here’s what they accomplished:  - 7,814 pounds of trash collected  - 4,125 trees planted  - 2,000 feet of trail... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, April 25, 2022

Natural Highlights: Red-eyed Vireo

The Red-eyed Vireo ( Vireo olivaceus ) sounds a bit like an American Robin, with longer pauses between phrases.  A champion songster, this bird seems to sing all day, every day, from spring to late summer, before migrating to the Amazon River basin to spend the winter.  It's a mostly olive green and white bird, with a white eyebrow bordered by black stripes, and a distinctive small hook at the end of its beak.  The eyes of adults are indeed red, but they... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, April 25, 2022

Save the Date for Discover the Greenway 2022!

Mark your calendars for this year’s Discover the Greenway event, presented by Jim Keras Subaru! Registration for our Discover the Greenway fundraiser and scavenger hunt is open. Please go to www.wolfriver.org/discover . Bike, walk, or run the Wolf River Greenway, check out scenic sights along the way, and earn the chance to win some excellent grand prizes! Event details, including selfie locations, will be updated closer to the event, along with new Discover the Greenway programs... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, April 25, 2022

Wolf River Restoration Series Concludes with Earth Day Events

   Thank you to the many volunteers and donors who have participated in our four-month Wolf River Restoration Series. Our series would not be possible without the support from our Presenting Sponsor, Brother International. We will be wrapping up the series by celebrating Earth Day with a lecture on sustainable architecture by Jenna Thompson on Wednesday, April 20 th and a volunteer service project at Kennedy Park on Saturday, April 23 rd . To register for the lecture and/or... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Thanks to Eclectic Eye

Eclectic Eye raised $1,500 for the Wolf River Conservancy during their Annual Sale in January. Five dollars of every frame purchased was donated to the Conservancy.   Thank you to our friends at Eclectic Eye for their continued support of our mission!  Check out their unique eyewear store in Midtown for your next set of specs.   Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Thanks, Volunteers, for Two Terrific March Projects!

    270 volunteers contributed about 340 hours to improving the world and supporting the Conservancy in March.  On Mar. 5th, 124 volunteers potted up about 3,000 young trees at Urban Earth where they will be nurtured until ready to plant throughout the city by The Works CDC and Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.  For our World Water Day project, 136 volunteers picked up trash on land and on the water in four different locations, three at Mud Island, and one at Kennedy... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Natural Highlights: Wolf River Fishes

  Bluegill      Bowfin There are about 67 species of fish which are known to occur in the Wolf River from a handful of surveys on various river sections.  These species represent 13 fish families, ranging from big river fish such as drums and redhorses near the river's mouth to sensitve habitat specialists like madtoms and darters near its origin in MIssissippi. Most people are familiar only with those species considered gamefish,... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, March 28, 2022

March 2022: A Message from Our Director

Spring is in the air - which means warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours will provide you with more opportunities to enjoy the Wolf River Greenway, including walking, running, and biking. The Wolf River Conservancy is offering some great springtime activities on the Wolf River Greenway as well. Nick Wiggins, our Community Conservation Manager, has been busy putting together a variety of free programs for our community, newly enhanced thanks to feedback from last year's... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, March 28, 2022

Best of Luck to John Himber, Our Recent Intern!

We would like to give a big shout out and thank you to our fall 2021 intern, John Himber!  John is a senior at Christian Brothers University studying Business Management.  He’s been on the Dean's List for the last four semesters. Here is what John said about his internship at the Conservancy: “My internship at Wolf River Conservancy was priceless and I am very thankful that I was given the opportunity to work with the amazing people at Wolf River... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Thursday, February 17, 2022

On the Greenway: Wolf River 5K Run

      On Sat., Jan. 22, on the Wolf River Greenway in East Memphis, nearly 500 runners and walkers participated in this year's return of the Wolf River 5K presented by Start2Finish Event Management.  The Wolf River Conservancy was honored to once again be named beneficiary of the 5K, which raised over $3,400. The annual Wolf River 5K is held on the Wolf River Greenway trail, which upon completion, will extend from the confluence of the Wolf River and... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Thursday, February 17, 2022

Thanks to Our February Tree Planting Volunteers!

    Our first tree planting event of the year was held on Sat.,Feb. 19th, which turned out to be a beautiful, clear day.  Thank you to the 76 volunteers who came out to Fayette County to plant native trees at a 3.5 acre habitat restoration site on King Rd. near Bateman Bridge.  This old row crop field is now part of the Ghost River State Natural Area thanks to the Conservancy's land conservation efforts.  In record time, volunteers planted white and... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Thursday, February 17, 2022

February 2022: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, After a very successful tree planting event near Bateman Bridge in Fayette County on Sat., Feb. 19 th , we are now preparing for Tree Planting Part 2 at Urban Earth Nursery on Sat., Mar. 5 th , where volunteers will be potting up 3,000 native tree seedlings. The native tree seedlings will include eight oak species, buttonbush, red mulberry, and Virginia pine. Once potted, the seedlings will be cared for at the nursery until they are large enough for... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Thursday, February 17, 2022

Natural Highlights: White Oak

     If there were celebrities among the 20 species of oak trees native to Tennessee, the White Oak ( Quercus alba ) would receive top billing.  Mature White Oaks can be 100 feet high, with strong, straight trunks sought after by the lumber trade for cabinetry, furniture, flooring, barrel staves and many other uses.  While its wood is beautiful and rot-resistant, the living tree plays a vital ecological role in our forests, supporting an astounding 934... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Thursday, February 17, 2022

Natural Highlights: Gray Fox

  Gray fox on the Greenway The beautiful Gray Fox ( Urocyon cinereoargenteus ) is a small canid which resembles the Red Fox ( Vulpes vulpes ) in both appearance and habit but is not a close relative, having arisen from a more ancient lineage in the Pliocene.  Because the coats of both species can be variable in color, they can be easily confused. Look for the white tip of the tail on the Red Fox vs. a black tip on the Gray Fox.  Gray Foxes begin their breeding season in... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, January 25, 2022

On the Greenway: Trail Cameras and Wildlife

    Our trail cameras are capturing some good images of wildlife activity along the trail, documenting nine different mammal species so far:  Coyote, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Eastern Bobcat, Armadillo, Raccoon, Opossum, Groundhog, and White-tailed Deer.  There are many small mammals and other wildlife along the Wolf River which have eluded our camera "traps" so far. Whether we see them or not, we are happy to know the protected Wolf River Greenway provides... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Wolf River Conservancy Welcomes New Board Members for 2022

We are pleased to announce the addition of four new board members for 2022. While they all have different backgrounds and interests, they all share their passion and support for the mission of the Wolf River Conservancy. Please welcome our new board members. Dr. K.C. Horne Dr. Kristopher C Horne (K.C.) specializes in Musculoskeletal & Diagnostic radiology at Memphis Radiological P.C. which serves Methodist Le Bohneur Healthcare and has over 19 years of experience in the field of... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, January 24, 2022

Martin Luther King Day Project: Thanks, Volunteers!

     Over 100 volunteers came out on a very cold day to pick up trash, build a trail, clear privet, and install nest boxes on Jan. 17th, the first project in our Wolf River Restoration Series. In just two hours, the group collected 50 bags of trash and 5 tires, cleared several square yards of privet and Japanese honeysuckle, began a new trail, and installed 12 bird nest boxes and gourds.  More photos are available on our Facebook page, or will be soon.  Check out... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, January 24, 2022

January 2022: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, We are so excited about our continued progress in building out the Wolf River Greenway as part of our public/private partnership with the City of Memphis Parks and Neighborhoods Division and Shelby County. Currently, we have approximately 14 miles of the Wolf River Greenway open to the public with segments located at Mud Island, Epping Way, Kennedy Park and East Memphis. The Wolf River Greenway is now connected to both the Germantown Greenway and the... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, January 24, 2022

Protected Forever: 26 Wetland Acres

   This week we are happy to report the addition of 26 acres to the protected land database in the Wolf River watershed.  The 26-acre wetland property located along the Wolf River Greenway on North Highland Street in the City of Memphis is now protected in perpetuity with a conservation easement .  As a nationally accredited land trust, Wolf River Conservancy has several methods of protecting land. One of them, a conservation easement,... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Wolf River Harbor Cleanup: Thanks, Volunteers!

           On the morning of Dec.11th, 39 volunteers braved wind and cold to join staff from Wolf River Conservancy and Living Lands and Waters on Mud Island for a Wolf River Harbor Cleanup.  Living Lands and Water supplied johnboats and their flagship barge for moving some volunteers up the harbor to spread out the cleanup effort, and for collecting bags of trash and other items afterwards. The low water level left much of the bank and the trash... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, December 14, 2021

On the Greenway: A Newly Certified Park and Recreation Professional

       Nick Wiggins, the Conservancy's Community Conservation Manager - who can often be seen patrolling the open sections of the Wolf River Greenway in a bright green truck - has earned his certification as a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP). According to the National Recreation and Park Association website, the Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification is the national standard for all parks and recreation professionals... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, December 14, 2021

December 2021: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, The Wolf River Conservancy’s unwavering commitment to land conservation benefits over one million people who live in the Mid-South area. This is what drives us to do more to serve the public good. Over 18,500 acres of forests and wetlands in the Wolf River watershed, including over 550 acres this year alone, have been protected forever – for you, for our neighbors, for our region and for generations to come. While most of the... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, December 13, 2021

Natural Highlights: Marbled Salamander

    While digging a hole to plant a tree at Epping Way this December, Ryan Hall accidentally unearthed a Marbled Salamander ( Ambystoma opacum ) which had been tucked away safely in the litter of the forest floor - to which it was released unharmed to find another hiding place.  Marbled Salamanders are a member of the Mole Salamander family, the Ambystomatidae, so called because of they are "fossorial," spending most of their lives... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, December 8, 2021

On the Greenway: Crucial Connection Open at Last!

   On Friday, November 5, the much-anticipated connection of the Wolf River Greenway and the Shelby Farms Greenline opened to the public!! Cyclists, runners, and families have been steadily utilizing one of the newest additions to the Wolf River Greenway over the last week. The completion comes just in time for the few vestiges of warm temperatures as the seasons shift, giving trail users a much-deserved canvas of fall colors to enjoy through the one-mile route. This new... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Tree Planting with International Paper and Arbor Day Foundation

    Earlier this year, Wolf River Conservancy was awarded a grant from International Paper through the Arbor Day Foundation to conduct a meaningful tree planting.  On November 13 th  under sunny skies, volunteers from International Paper, the West Tennessee Chapter of the Urban Forestry Council, and others gathered to plant over 90 potted and balled-and-burlapped trees along phase 9 of the Wolf River Greenway at Epping Way.  These trees and shrubs... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, November 16, 2021

2021 Greenway Soiree Soars Above Goal

This year’s Greenway Soiree raised more than $180,000 to help further the mission of the Wolf River Conservancy to protect and enhance the Wolf River watershed as a sustainable natural resource.  The 2021 Greenway Soiree far exceeded the original goal of $156,000!  There are so many people who contributed to our success. Thanks to everyone who bought tickets, bid on auction items, secured auction items, volunteers who helped in any way, and a special thanks to the WRC staff.... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Natural Highlights: Two-lined Walking Stick

    Musk Mare and Devil's Riding Horse are just two of the fanciful names given to the Northern Two-lined Walking Stick ( Anisomorpha ferruginea ). It is less well-known than the Northern Walkingstick ( Diapheromera femorata ) which bears a striking resemblance to a twig.  Both specis belong to the Phasmatidae family of insects, which includes the many stick insects, some of which are the largest insects in the world.  Northern Two-lined Walking... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, November 15, 2021

November 2021: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, Since joining the Wolf River Conservancy in 2010, it has been my pleasure to observe as our team members grow professionally in their individual goals and skill sets. Our small but competent team, working with our engaged board members, are the key to the continued success of the Conservancy. This has been especially true during the past year and a half. Thus, we are always pleased when members of our team are recognized for their professionalism... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, November 15, 2021

On the Greenway: A Great Summer of Community Programming

         The Wolf River Greenway trail is a 26-mile pedestrian and bicycle pathway currently under construction along the meanders of the Wolf River in the urban sector of Memphis, Tennessee. Upon completion, the trail will connect over 180,000 residents within a 10-minute walk within 22 distinct Memphis neighborhoods.  As of 2021, there are 12 (non-contiguous) miles of the route completed and open to the public in 8 neighborhoods. The project is a... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, October 25, 2021

October 2021: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, The No-Go Greenway Soiree and Online Auction is happening next week! Our signature fundraising event will be strictly online this year for everyone’s safety, and will feature a great online auction from November 1st to November 6 th . Hopefully, you have received an invitation with details on how to participate in the event.  You can also register at this link.   T o see all of our online auction items , visit this link: ... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, October 25, 2021

Remembering Volunteer Fred Bromm

   Fred on the Wolf River. In mid-September, our River Guide program was impacted by the death of a very dedicated volunteer for the Conservancy and one of our own members, Mr. Fred Bromm. Fred’s initial contact with the WRC was in January of 2016 when he volunteered to assist on one of the Conservancy clean-up projects. From that point on, Fred was a frequent participant at a variety of events including our annual Tree Planting, various community service events and... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, October 25, 2021

Natural Highlights: Northern Saw-whet Owl

Our latest online program featured Mitchell Pruitt, a PhD candidate at the University of Arkansas, who talked about his research on the reclusive but very cute Northern Saw-whet Owl, the smallest bird of prey in North America.  Northern Saw-whet Owls weigh about as much as an American Robin and stand only 8 inches tall. They mainly eat woodland mice and an occasional bird or large insect, and they tend to hang out very quietly in dense stands of conifers, making... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, October 20, 2021

September 2021: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, I hope everyone is enjoying this fall weather as much as I am, with much cooler temperatures and the leaves beginning to turn a multitude of beautiful fall colors. You may also be thinking about other milestones that come with the last quarter of the year…such as the Greenway Soiree, our signature fundraising event traditionally held in early November. Unfortunately, we have made the difficult decision not to celebrate in person this year for... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, September 28, 2021