News

Sign Up Now: Discover the Greenway Continues through June 5th

      What is Discover the Greenway?  It's a a two-week scavenger hunt to find scenic selfie spots along the Wolf River Greenway. Find them all, submit your photos, and you'll be eligible to win some great prizes - all while supporting the mission of the Wolf River Conservancy.    Learn more and sign up here :  www.wolfriver.org/discover .   There is plenty of time to sign up and participate!  Discover the... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, May 25, 2021

May 2021: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, The Memorial Day holiday traditionally marks the beginning of summer, but the Wolf River Conservancy did not want to wait. We launched our Discover the Greenway event on May 22! Discover the Greenway continues through June 5, so there is still plenty of time to participate and compete for some great prizes. This event is designed to give individuals, families, and small groups opportunities to explore and enjoy the Wolf River Greenway while... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, May 24, 2021

Natural Highlights: Cypress Firefly

Firefly species - which total 125+ in the U.S. alone - can be distinguished by their unique flash patterns, but it takes a trained eye and a willingness to be out in the field at night to identify them.  This helps to explain why the Cypress Firefly ( P hoturis walldoxeyi ) remained undescribed until 2017, when biologist Lynn Frierson Faust first documented it at Wall Doxey State Park in Mississippi.  Since then, the Cypress Firefly has been... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, May 24, 2021

Thank You to the Grifols Foundation!

We are truly grateful for the generous community grant we received from the José Antonio Grifols Lucas Foundation. The Grifols Corporation operates a nationwide system of blood banks and specializes in plasma products.  The Grifols Foundation provides support to organizations such as the Wolf River Conservancy which serve thriving and vibrant communities, like Memphis, where plasma donors are valued and appreciated for their gift of plasma.   The Grifols... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, May 24, 2021

April 2021: A Message from Our Director

Dear Friend, The first Earth Day celebration was held in1970.  Since then, over 190 countries now recognize Earth Day and use it as an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the natural resources of our planet.  Earth Day is now also an international organization with a global mission to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide.   You should not be surprised to learn that the work of the Wolf River Conservancy at a local... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Wolf River Restoration Series Concludes with Earth Day

          The 2021 Wolf River Restoration Series has concluded with great engagement from the public.  Across the four events of the series (MLK Jr. Day of Service, Annual Tree Planting, World Water Day, and Earth Day), 221 volunteers served 384 hours to improve their neighborhoods, city streets, Wolf River Greenway, and the Wolf River watershed.  Volunteers did everything from planting hundreds of trees to cleaning up tires and trash to creating a... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, April 27, 2021

On the Greenway: Instructors Needed!

  The Wolf River Conservancy is looking to hire instructors to lead our free community programming launching this summer along the Wolf River Greenway.  Instructors are needed for fitness classes, nature walks, and paddling outings. Community programming begins Saturday June 5 th , and courses are offered on Saturdays until October 16 th . Some but not all positions require certification in an associated field.  Paddle the Greenway – Paddle the... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Discover the Greenway 2021 Coming Soon!

      Three weeks until Discover the Greenway!  What will you be doing from May 22 nd through June 5 th ?  Consider joining all of us for the 2 nd  Annual Discover the Greenway event, a two-week scavenger hunt to find scenic selfie spots along the Wolf River Greenway.  Find them all, submit your photos, and you are eligible to win some great prizes. What is Discover the Greenway?  Well, it’s a  two-week treasure hunt to... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Natural Highlights: Blue Grosbeak

  Male    Female Bird migration is in full swing in the Mid-South, with waves of neotropical migrants moving through the area, filling the woods with bright colors and birdsong.  One migrant currently appearing near the Wolf River Greenway is the gorgeous Blue Grosbeak ( Passerina caerulea ), easily confused at a distance with the equally beautiful Indigo Bunting.  The Blue Grosbeak is distinguished by its larger beak and the male's bright brown wing... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Wolf River Conservancy Earns National Recognition

The Wolf River Conservancy Earns National Recognition Strong Commitment to Public Trust and Conservation Excellence Memphis, Tennessee  – One thing that unites us as a nation is land: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1985, the Wolf River Conservancy has been doing just that for the people of Memphis and the Mid-South. Now the Wolf River Conservancy has announced it has renewed its land trust accreditation under the guidance of the Land... Read More
Posted by Matt Winemiller at Monday, April 12, 2021

Wolf River Restoration Series: Two Successful March Projects

   The end of March is upon us, and the Conservancy is happy to report on the great successes of the 2021 Wolf River Restoration Series thus far.  With an Earth Day project still remaining in the series, we have already engaged nearly 200 volunteers who served over 330 hours .  Volunteers planted over 900 trees and removed dozens of tires and bags of trash from the floodplain during our Annual Tree Planting and World Water Day events. This great impact has... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, March 30, 2021

March 2021: A Message from Our Director

The warmer, sunnier, longer days of spring mean more opportunities to enjoy our natural surroundings, including the Wolf River and the Wolf River Greenway!  I am pleased to announce the return of our Discover the Greenway event, designed to give individuals, families, and small groups the opportunity to explore the Wolf River Greenway and compete for prizes while supporting the mission of the Wolf River Conservancy. This year’s event begins May 22 nd and runs through June 5... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, March 30, 2021

On the Greenway: Free Community Programs Coming Soon

    Beginning June 2021, free community programs will be available to the public along select open sections of the Wolf River Greenway. These one-hour programs led by local instructors will include fitness sessions, free kayak paddling, and educational walks. Our Wolf River Greenway Community Programming will offer Memphians a chance to get fit, have fun, and learn more about the significance of the Wolf River watershed.  We are currently hiring certified... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, March 29, 2021

Natural Highlights: Piebald Madtom

Madtoms are small members of the catfish family and several species live in the upper reaches of the Wolf River where they can find the water quality and habitat complexity they need to survive and reproduce. The boldly patterned Piebald Madtom ( Noturus gladiato r) occurs in the Wolf, Hatchie and Obion rivers in the Coastal Plain of West Tennessee and North Mississippi, and possibly a few other rivers in Mississippi, all eastern tributaries to the Mississippi River.  While... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, March 29, 2021

February 2021: A Message from the Director

One thing that unites us as a nation is land: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1985, The Wolf River Conservancy, has been doing just that for the people who care about the Wolf River watershed. We have just been notified that the Land Trust Alliance Commission has renewed our land trust accreditation – proving once again that, as part of a network of over 400 accredited land trusts across the nation, we are committed to professional excellence and to... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, February 23, 2021

On the Greenway: New Trailhead Signs Installed

    Be on the lookout for new trailhead signage at major trailheads all along the Wolf River Greenway! These new signs will help users to clearly identify the Greenway throughout the City. In total, 12 new trailhead signs are being installed, with more to sure to come as additional phases of the Greenway are completed. See how many signs you can find, snap a photo, and tag us on Instagram! Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, February 23, 2021

January 2021: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, As we all embark on the new year, the Conservancy is filling our calendar with a variety of activities and projects in 2021, taking pride in offering both virtual and in-person options for you and your families. One of our major initiatives is the Wolf River Restoration Series . In its second year, the Wolf River Restoration Series is a four-month long volunteer program that raises awareness and funds for key restoration projects within the Wolf River... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The 16th Annual Tree Planting: The Gift that Grows

                                                                            Give the gift that grows!  SPONSOR A TREE! Our 16 th  Annual  Tree Planting  is fast approaching and now is the time to consider friends and family you would like to honor or memorialize .  Not... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, January 27, 2021

New River Views Thanks to Chris-Hill Construction

     Outstanding donation by Chris-Hill Construction   The Wolf River Conservancy would like to thank our newest Restoration Series Sponsor, Chris-Hill Construction, for clearing large amounts of invasive privet from the new Wolf River Greenway segment west of Walnut Grove Rd.! Chris-Hill Construction is no stranger to the Wolf River Conservancy, having completed sections of the Wolf River Greenway through Kennedy Park and along McLean Avenue. Currently... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The 2021 Wolf River Restoration Series Begins in January!

  Our 2021 Wolf River Restoration Series, presented by Brother International, begins with our MLK Days of Service, with both virtual and in-person opportunities on three different days, in keeping with COVID-19 health precautions.  On the evening of Jan. 13th, we'll meet online to discuss our upcoming projects and welcome speaker James Edward Mills, author of The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors .   On Sat, Jan. 16th, a virtual Day of Service will... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, December 15, 2020

December 2020: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friends, As all of you know, these are difficult times. Because of COVID-19, many of us will be separated from loved ones during the upcoming holidays, experiencing the stress of monotony, loneliness, and perhaps grief as well, and coping as best we can, sometimes by getting outside into the natural environment. As we’ve noted before, access to the outdoors has been especially important to our physical and mental health during the pandemic. More... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, December 14, 2020

On the Greenway: Progress on Section 14A

Check out these recent photos of the construction of Section 14A of the Wolf River Greenway.  This section connects the Wolf River Greenway to Shelby Farms Greenline and includes a bridge over the Wolf River.         Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Sunday, December 13, 2020

The 2020 Greenway Soiree Exceeds Fundraising Goal

Wow!  $144,715 raised at this year’s Virtual Greenway Soirée, exceeding our goal for the event.  The one-hour Soirée featured great entertainment from Opera Memphis, New Ballet Ensemble, Mark Baker and Stax Music Academy. Hosts for the evening were Keith Cole, James McDonald and Terri Walker who provided lively conversation and good information.  A s pecial thank you to our sponsors, all listed at this... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, November 20, 2020

A Day on the River with ICU Nurses

On Thursday, October 22, five of our WRC River Guides escorted 5 ICU nurses down the Ghost section of the Wolf River. For most of them, this was their first opportunity to be away from their occupation since late February.  The guests included Wendy, Christie, Meredith, Bryan and Laurel. Many were first time paddlers and took quickly to the slow and relaxing rhythms of nature around them and the water below. Compliments about the beauty of the Wolf River, the refreshing qualities... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, November 20, 2020

Natural Highlights: Owl Boxes

The Shelby County School system has provided several different types of nest boxes for local owl species with the goal of engaging local students with the wildlife which lives right here in the Mid-South.  Wolf River Conservancy staff and volunteers, along with Tennessee Ornithological Society (TOS) members, are coordinating the installation of the nest boxes in appropriate habitat along the Wolf River Greenway.  Jim Waldron with TOS has spent countless hours over the years... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, November 20, 2020

November 2020: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, In just a matter of months, the pandemic has dramatically reshaped our society. Yet one thing has remained constant – the role nature and the outdoors contribute to our health and overall wellness. People are turning to the outdoors now more than ever for exercise, socializing, experiential learning, and mental escape. The Wolf River Greenway and wilderness areas along the Wolf River are no exception. We are reporting unprecedented usage –... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, November 20, 2020

On the Greenway: Launching New Programs

  While we're working hard to complete the Wolf River Greenway, we are also activating the open sections by offering volunteer opportunities and free community programming that can benefit all users and residents. "Paddle the Greenway" took place from October 17-24, offering free paddling lessons to anyone who signed up.  The multi-day event was held at the picturesque 20-acre lake adjacent to the Wolf River Greenway at Epping... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, October 26, 2020

Ring Container Technologies and the 2020 Greenway Soiree

Thank you to Ring Container Technologies, the Presenting Sponsor of this year’s virtual Greenway Soirée! During these very unusual times, our corporate partners are more important than ever.  Ring Container Technologies, located in Oakland, Tennessee, with over 500 employees, has been a contributing partner to Wolf River Conservancy for over five years.  Through both financial commitments and employee volunteers, Ring has shown they value the work we do.... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, October 26, 2020

October 2020: A Message from Our Director

Do you ever think about the interplay between the arts and conservation?  How art can complement conservation, and how conservation can serve as inspiration, theme, and message for art?  In various forms of creative expression today, there is often an emphasis on the importance of appreciating and protecting our natural world. Several years ago, when the “ Wide Spaces, Open Season ” art exhibit was on display at Dixon Gallery and Gardens, I was asked to speak to the... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, October 23, 2020

Natural Highlights: White-tailed Deer

In case you missed Dr. Allan Houston's presentation on White-tailed Deer last week, a recorded video can be viewed on our media pages at this link .  Because of a technical problem, Dr. Houston was unable to respond to questions at the end, but he kindly provided his responses below.  Read on to learn more! 1. Why is the habitat in West Tennessee so good for White-tailed Deer?        Productivity.  And, this begins with the soil.  A... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, October 23, 2020

September 2020: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, At the beginning of the pandemic, the Wolf River Conservancy had to be reactive in implementing many changes in how we operate on a daily basis. Now, after six months of enduring the pandemic, we are beginning to be more reflective, evaluating what we have learned in this time of extraordinary challenges. To that end, we have considered the following four questions as we think about our “new normal” in September 2020. What... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, September 28, 2020

On the Greenway: A Preview of the New Bridge

      Coming soon to the Wolf River Greenway - a beautiful new bridge over the Wolf River, very similar to the one pictured above! Phase 14A of the Wolf River Greenway, which is currently under construction, includes a 270-foot cable-stayed bridge over the Wolf River connecting portions of the Greenway on the eastern and western side. The bridge is currently being fabricated in Alabama and will be delivered in 5 sections to be assembled and lifted into... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, September 28, 2020

Natural Highlights: Rough Earth Snake

  photo by J.D.Willson Referred to as a ground snake or little brown snake by some, the Rough Earth Snake ( Haldea  striatula ) is a harmless, small, pointy-nosed denizen of just a few counties in the southwestern corner of Tennessee, including Shelby County. These snakes are only 7-10 inches long as adults with plain brown backs and cream- to gray-colored bellies, and they are sometimes encountered on sidewalks after a rainstorm where they look very... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, September 23, 2020

On the Greenway: Phase 14A Update

     The Wolf River Conservancy is excited about the continued progress on Phase 14A of the Wolf River Greenway, which will connect the Wolf River Greenway with the Shelby Farms Greenline.  Chris-Hill Construction is conducting grading operations on the banks of the Wolf River in anticipation of the construction of a 270’ cable-stayed bridge over the Wolf River. Work is also progressing on the concrete boardwalk through the Lucious Birch State Natural Area. You... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Protecting the Forgotten Waters Property: You Can Help!

Wolf River Conservancy and The Conservation Fund are partnering to protect a large swath of wetlands on the Wolf River in Fayette County.  With incredible conservation values, this 280-acre property seems to have it all:  approximately 1 mile of Wolf River frontage, a freshwater marsh, a heron rookery, potential quail habitat, road frontage, and a beautiful bottomland hardwood forest.       Photo: A large freshwater marsh dominates the landscape... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, August 25, 2020

August 2020: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River friend, In 2015, the Wolf River Conservancy achieved an important goal: the distinction of being recognized by the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) as an accredited land trust. Of the 1,363 land trusts in the U.S., fewer than a third are accredited by the LTA. What does this mean to you as a friend and supporter of the Wolf River Conservancy? Land trust accreditation is a mark of distinction, showing that a land trust meets high standards for land conservation. It sends a... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Save the Date! The 2020 Greenway Soirée on Nov. 14th from 7-8pm

The 2020 Greenway Soirée will take place from 7:00-8:00pm on Saturday, November 14th. It’s that time of year again for the Wolf River Conservancy’s largest fundraiser, the Greenway Soirée!   This year’s Soirée will be streamed live straight to you !   Of course, maintaining the quality of the Greenway Soirée is paramount to us. So, this year’s event will include an online silent auction filled with great items, a package... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Natural Highlights: Trumpet Vine

   The bright red-orange flowers which give Trumpet Vine ( Campsis radicans ) its name are visible in the woods and along the trails near the Wolf River, attracting scores of hummingbirds preparing for their long migratory journey.  Also called Trumpet Creeper, Hellvine, Cowvine, and Devil's Shoestring, Trumpet Vine is quite aggressive with clinging aerial rootlets which can damage wood and masonry, and suckers which spread from the roots.  While... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, August 24, 2020

Spirit Fork Property Protected!

Because of the generous gifts by donors like you, Wolf River Conservancy has now purchased the Spirit Fork property, permanently protecting its scenic conservation values. The 46-acre Spirit Fork property on the banks of the North Fork of the Wolf River consists almost entirely of wetlands with towering 70 to 150-year-old bald cypress trees. These significant wetlands are vital for recharging the source of our drinking water, the Memphis Sand... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, July 28, 2020

On the Greenway: Construction Updates

The Wolf River Greenway project team continues to push forward on expanding and upgrading sections of the Greenway. In east Memphis two sections are under construction, Phase 3A and Phase 14A. Phase 3A is a new trailhead and parking lot with additional picnic tables located on Humphreys Blvd just west of Kirby. This parking lot will help alleviate overcrowding in the existing parking lot on Humphreys near Baptist Hospital. Phase 14A is well under construction and promises to be an... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, July 27, 2020

July 2020: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, We are very excited to share with you that Cathy Justis ,  our Director of Education , has received the Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award from The Garden Club of America. Cathy was nominated locally by the Memphis Garden Club, a member of The Garden Club of America. The Garden Club of America, as part of its scholarship program, offers this award to an individual who provides outstanding education to youth. The Elizabeth Abernathy Hull... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Sunday, July 26, 2020

Hats Off to Ring Container Technologies, Presenting Sponsor for the Greenway Soiree

Ring Container Technologies is committed to the Wolf River Conservancy's mission to protect and enhance the Wolf River watershed as a sustainable natural resource, which is why the company has been partnering with us since 2015. Now it has once again stepped up during an especially challenging year to be the Presenting Sponsor of the Greenway Soirée, our largest annual fundraiser. We are now in the planning stages for this event, and we realize that the... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, July 24, 2020

Natural Highlights: Question Mark Butterfly

   At once beautiful and cryptic, the Question Mark Butterfly ( Polygonia interrogationis ) has wings which are bright orange and brown edged in violet blue on the topside. The muted underside of the wings look just like a dead leaf when the wings are folded, their irregularly scalloped edges heightening the effect.  A predator might still be looking for a bright orange butterfly which has suddenly "disappeared" simply by folding its wings.  Look... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Sunday, July 12, 2020

June 2020: A Message from our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, During these continuing “Pandemic” times, I am frequently asked “How is the Wolf River Conservancy doing?” Without attempting to sound boastful, I will generally reply that we are doing pretty well. Just as many organizations have been required to do, we have had to dig deep and flex our creative muscles in order to pivot into news ways to engage donors, volunteers, community members while delivering on our mission. ... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, June 24, 2020

On the Greenway: Parking Lot Construction Update

        PLEASE PARDON OUR PROGRESS! The Wolf River Conservancy and the City of Memphis Division of Parks and Neighborhoods are working to provide additional parking and amenities to the Wolf River Greenway. This new trailhead parking area at Kirby and Humphreys Blvd, will have 24 parking spaces and a turnaround as well as additional picnic tables (see below). Besides completing the parking lot, we are also repainting the railings at both the Kirby and the... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Natural Highlights: Mississippi Map Turtle

  photo by Ben Grizzle Mississippi Map Turtles (​ Graptemys pseudogeographica kohnii​ ) are medium-sized aquatic turtles that occur from the southern portion of the Mississippi River basin westward to the Brazos River in Texas. They are often seen basking on logs and other objects in rivers and larger creeks. As with all Map Turtles, they can be easily distinguished by the pronounced keel that runs along the top of their shell. Unique to this species is the bright yellow or orange... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Great American Outdoors Act Passes Senate

With all that is occurring in our world, we could all use a bit of good news these days.  In a historic 73-25 bipartisan vote, the Senate passed the  Great American Outdoors Act  — bringing us one step closer to finally providing full and dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Since its establishment in 1964, LWCF has supported over 41,000 state and local park projects, contributing $778 billion to the nation's economy annually and providing... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, June 22, 2020

Top 15 Forest Birds in Memphis Parks

From biologist Fields Falcone: Birds you are more likely to see or hear in mature interior lowland forests of Shelby County in the summer (e.g. Lucius Burch State Natural Area along the Wolf River): Northern Cardinal Carolina Wren Tufted Titmouse Carolina Chickadee American Robin White-eyed Vireo Red-eyed Vireo Red-bellied Woodpecker Downy Woodpecker Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Acadian Flycatcher Eastern Wood-pewee Yellow-billed Cuckoo Summer... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, May 29, 2020

May 2020: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend, We are so excited to be sharing with you today our Discover the Greenway  event, scheduled to take place June 6 th – June 20 th .  Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, Jim Keras Subaru!  Formerly called “Cycle the Greenway," Discover the Greenway is a response to extraordinary circumstances. This year, due to social distancing requirements and health concerns, our development committee got creative... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Our Thanks to Buckman

We are very pleased to recognize our corporate benefactor, Buckman, for their long-term, ongoing support of our work.  Buckman is not only a great partner for the Conservancy but also a partner for the whole community.  With corporate encouragement, several of their employees have recently found ways to support our community through service; we spotlight four of them below. We are proud to be affiliated with Buckman not just because of the work they do with us but for how... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, May 26, 2020