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 public-private partnership between the Wolf River Conservancy, City of Memphis Parks & Neighborhoods, and Shelby County Government.

Parks, trails, and greenspaces play a crucial role in habitat and conservation, but, as we have learned recently post-Covid, these public areas have immense and measurable impact on our lives in terms of mental and physical health. The Wolf River Greenway trail is one of these crucial spaces for visitors and residents of Memphis who utilize the trail to exercise, enjoy, or learn from their natural surroundings. In an effort to bring more opportunities for enjoyment of these spaces, the Wolf River Conservancy hosted 70 free community programs at three Greenway trailhead locations between June and October 2021.

Programs consisted of: kayaking classes twice monthly, exercise classes weekly, and guided nature walks weekly at the different completed sections of trail. These programs, named Paddle, Sweat, and Explore the Greenway were very well received in feedback surveys, and attended by 626 participants. All programs were free of financial barrier; registration was free and any equipment necessary was provided to participants. 

Paddle the Greenway – 256 participants donned life jackets and learned to paddle a kayak or canoe with paddle guides on our 25-acre lake along the Wolf River Greenway at Epping Way.

Explore the Greenway – 200 participants learned more about native plants and wildlife on our guided nature walks at two Greenway locations. Participants explored with a choice of two guided walks: Wildflower Wander at Wolf River Greenway Epping Way, and Turtle Trek at Wolf River Greenway Kennedy Park.

Sweat the Greenway - 170 participants broke a sweat working out with our certified fitness instructors at three separate Greenway locations in the Sweat the Greenway program. Classes ranged from Barre to General Fitness and were offered at the Wolf River Greenway Mud Island, Epping Way and Kennedy Park Sections.

We want to thank our generous sponsors for helping to make these programs possible and free of financial barrier for all participants: City of Memphis, The Briggs Foundation, FedEx, Downtown Memphis Commission, and the Sea-Tow Foundation. Our community programs will be back next year, so be sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date!









Posted by Cathy Justis at 11:33 AM