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A Successful Greenway Soiree!

Over $130,000 was raised at this year’s Greenway Soirée, with over 300 people in attendance! It was a great event: attendees were served a fantastic meal followed by dancing to the tunes of the Earnestine and Hazel’s Band.  And in between they bid on all their favorite silent and live auctions.  Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor International Paper and to all the other sponsors and  volunteers who helped make this a night to remember.  A... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, November 18, 2019

A Message from the Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy Friend, I have two very important announcements to share with you! The first is the recent transfer of the 58-acre Cornerstone Property to the State of Tennessee in order to expand the Ghost River State Natural Area.  Our long-time supporters are familiar with the Ghost River Rescue in 1995, led by the Wolf River Conservancy.  This effort by committed individuals protected approximately 4,000 acres which eventually became the Ghost River State... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, November 18, 2019

Volunteers Still Needed for Greenway Soiree

Staff and volunteers at the Wolf River Conservancy are hard at work on making this year's Greenway Soirée the best ever!  We are a bit short-handed on volunteers available to help on the night of the event itself.  Please consider joining in the behind-the-scenes action on Nov. 9th;  follow this link to sign up or contact Matt Winemiller .     Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, October 25, 2019

A Message from the Director

As we begin to think about putting 2019 behind us (it went fast didn't it?) and look ahead to 2020, we are reminded of the vital contributions that our volunteers, donors, and corporate/foundation partners have provided toward our success this year. Thanks to everyone for your continued support of the work of the Wolf River Conservancy.  We are excited and encouraged by current buildout of the Wolf River Greenway trail within the City of Memphis. The Wolf River Greenway trail... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, October 25, 2019

Natural Highlights: Strawberry Bush

  The bright red seeds and warty capsules of the Strawberry Bush ( Euonymus americanus ) can be seen along the banks of the upper Wolf River in October.  Except during the fall, this is an inconspicuous shrub with small greenish white flowers in May and June.  It is a favorite food plant of the numerous deer roaming the woods, and the short steep banks of the river offer it and other plants some protection from the browsers.  Strawberry bushes... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, October 25, 2019

Natural Highlights: Red-shouldered Hawk

   photo by Collins Dillard Spend any time along the Wolf River, paddling a canoe or strolling on the Wolf River Greenway, and you are likely to hear the persistent "kee-ah" call  of the Red-shouldered Hawk which is at home in our bottomland hardwood forests throughout the year. Smaller than the ubiquitous Red-tailed Hawks, this beautiful bird of prey has a black and white striped tail and adults have reddish barring on the breast.  Look for... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Many Thanks to Crosstown Brewing Company!

   Our Drink a Beer, Save a River event is once again helping move the needle for fundraising and awareness of the Wolf River Conservancy. On Wednesday, August 28 ,  our organization was hosted by our partners at the Crosstown Brewing Company to raise funds for our new boat dock at the Epping Way section of the Wolf River Greenway.  The folks of Crosstown and the attendees from the surrounding area were very supportive! The weather was wonderful as well,... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Thank You to Our Service Project Volunteers

    Volunteers from Lausanne Collegiate School, International Paper, Christian Brother University, and the community-at-large participated in several service projects in the past month, cleaning up lots of trash of all sizes, clearing invasive plants, and installing nest boxes along the Greenway.     10 students from Lausanne Collegiate School, spent 4 days as Wolf River Conservancy interns, learning about our work and following up with three days of... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A Summer Full of Family Fun on the Wolf

  THANK YOU to the more than 400 paddlers who joined us on our Wolf River Family Fun Paddles this season!  And a SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR DEDICATED RIVER GUIDES, without whom these outings would not be possible:  Mike Dawkins, Jeff Sojourner, Lee Gallagher, Chris Gallagher, Mary Finley, Fred Bromm, Kyle Dixon, Paul Deaton, Karen Latham, Cindy Mayo, Amy Ogden, Ross Mead, and Ande Demetriou — we appreciate all your hard work!   Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Natural Highlights: Cyanobacteria

      Microcystis sp. There has been a recent spate of tragedies involving pets and toxins produced by Cyanobacteria.  Most have occurred in late summer when high temperatures help to create conditions which spur the growth of bacteria and algae in ponds and lakes, while also tempting people to let their dogs play in the water.    The Cyanobacteria are commonly called "blue-green algae" but they are not algae at all;... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, August 26, 2019

Thank You to Baker Donelson!

  On July 25th at the Mud Island Greenway, the BakerGreen Committee of law firm Baker Donelson presented Conservancy staff with a check for $550. Each year, the committee raises donations in support of Earth Day, and we are honored that they chose Wolf River Conservancy as the recipient of their generosity.  Thank you! Please visit this link for more information on the BakerGreen Initiative at Baker Donelson.   Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, July 29, 2019

Water Quality Work Underway at Rhodes

   Dr. Patrick Kelly of Rhodes College is leading his students in studying various aspects of water quality along the Wolf River, including at Epping Way Lake, where he has placed a buoy and sensors to collect data on dissolved oxygen, temperature and light in the lake.  He will be evaluating the numbers later to understand the lake's metabolism.  He is also collecting water samples for examining plankton and conducting water quality tests. One of Dr.... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, July 29, 2019

July Activities, On and Off the Water

Here's a rundown of our busy July calendar. Our river guides led a First Saturday Paddle on July 6th, and two Family Fun Paddles on July 7th and 21st.           Our annual Wolf River Stream Stroll at Bateman Bridge was held on July 13th with lots of kids and parents wading in the water.  We collected some interesting small fish, aquatic insects, and other cool critters, all of which were released back to the river afterwards. ... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, July 29, 2019

Mid-South Trails Association Takes On Invasive Pears

Mid-South Trails Association (MSTA) has partnered with Wolf River Conservancy to combat a thorny invasive species that is taking over old fields and forest edges.  The Bradford Pear is one of the most commonly planted trees in Mid-South yards, but little did most know that it has the potential to be extremely invasive.  Converting native fields and young forests into non-native, fast blooming, thorny mess.  To read more on Bradford Pears, see our natural highlights article... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, July 29, 2019

Natural Highlights: Coreopsis

   Take a stroll down the Wolf River Greenway at Epping Way and you can't miss the profusion of yellow wildflowers blooming along the sunny stretches of the trail.  Coreopsis or Tickseed is a genus of wildflowers in the huge Aster Family (Asteraceae) which includes daisies, sunflowers, asters, coneflowers, black-eyed susans and many others. Nearly all members of the Aster Family have dense heads (capitula) composed of multiple... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, July 26, 2019

Help Us Build a Boat Dock on the Wolf River Greenway!

  the project: Wolf River Conservancy is a local nonprofit land trust that has been investing in quality of life for citizens of Memphis and the Mid-South since 1985. The Conservancy led the fundraising efforts to build out the Epping Way section of Wolf River Greenway trail, comprising over 1 mile of paved trail in the Raleigh area.  This boat dock will directly connect to the Greenway trail on this scenic 138-acre property that is effectively  the newest park in the... Read More
Posted by Ryan Hall at Friday, June 28, 2019

Cycle the Greenway Exceeds Fundraising Goal

    This year’s Cycle the Greenway fundraising event for the Wolf River Greenway exceeded expectations! With a stretch goal of $45,000, the 13 th  Annual Cycle the Greenway event raised over $46,000!  Over 130 cyclists rode this year to show their support for the Greenway.  Winners in the various fundraising categories were:  -  Largest Fundraising Team:  FedEx  -  Top $ Fundraising Team: ... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, June 24, 2019

A Shout Out to June Volunteers

  June 22 service project at Kennedy Park. Thanks and appreciation to the volunteers who helped out this month with habitat improvement, paddling trips, and special events! June 1 - Cycle the Greenway June 1 - First Saturday Paddle Trip June 2 - Family Fun Paddle Trip June 8 - Beer and Bagel Run June 22 - Saturday Service Project at Kennedy Park June 23 - Family Fun Paddle Trip Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, June 24, 2019

Natural Highlights: Big Dipper Firefly

Catching fireflies on warm summer evenings is one of the great pleasures of childhood, and seeing them flash in the darkness is a joy for people of all ages all over the world. There are many species of fireflies, also called lightning bugs, and they can be found on every continent except Antarctica; Tennessee alone has over 25 species.  The firefly species which most of us remember catching as kids and which we see around dusk on summer... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, June 21, 2019

Thanks to Intern Elizabeth Austin

My Internship At WRC ( Read Elizabeth's blog about her experience at this link ). My name is Elizabeth Austin and I am a rising high school senior at Hutchison School, and this summer I have had the opportunity to intern at the Wolf River Conservancy for the past two weeks. I sought out this internship because I am very passionate about environmental sustainability/environmental science, so I wanted to be an intern at an organization where conservation was the focus. Over... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, June 21, 2019

May Service Projects: Great Work, Everyone!

THANK YOU to the students and volunteers who have assisted us in making our community cleaner and greener this month! May 6th: Kingsbury Middle School students installed the nest boxes they built at Epping Way.      May 8th:  More nest boxes installed at Epping by Middle College High School students.         May 10th:  Southwind High School students come out to Epping Way to complete their nest box project, but save a few... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, May 27, 2019

Natural Highlights: Green Heron

   Collins Dillard, a graphic designer and Conservancy supporter, recently captured these nice images of a Green Heron foraging in the wetland along the Epping Way Greenway.  Like other herons, the Green Heron is a wading waterbird, which patiently stalks fish, frogs, tadpoles, small reptiles, and other aquatic life in wetlands and along lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.  Green Herons are quite common in this area in the breeding season, returning to... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, May 24, 2019

Come Cycle the Greenway on June 1st!

The Wolf River Conservancy’s 13 th annual Cycle the Greenway is coming up on Saturday June 1st. We hope that you will join us again this year for the event. You can  register online  by going to . Cycle the Greenway is one of the largest fundraisers for the Wolf River Conservancy, and your support is greatly appreciated, as we continue to raise money for the Wolf River Greenway.  Event Details: Date: Saturday June 1, 2019 Event... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Thanks to Our Partner, The First Tennessee Foundation

The First Tennessee Foundation recently selected the Wolf River Conservancy to a receive a $25,000 grant toward the ongoing work in developing the Wolf River Greenway.  First Tennessee Vice President Ben Nicol is appears in the photo above presenting the check to Conservancy staff.  Thank you to a terrific partner, The First Tennessee Foundation, for helping us to do great things for our community!     Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Meet Mark Jordan, Our New Director of Development

Coming from a 30 year career in banking (mostly in Mississippi), Mark is a mid-life career changer. In 2014 he began to feel a strong desire to change his career and he knew the non-profit sector is where he wanted to be. In 2016 he accepted his first job in the non-profit world as the Development Director with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. Then on Mar. 1, 2019, Mark joined the team at the Wolf River Conservancy as the Director of Development, assuming the role... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, April 29, 2019

Thank You to Our April Volunteers!

   Many thanks to the big group of volunteers from FedEx who completed a multi-pronged service project on Wed., April 24th, at the Epping Way Greenway.  The FedEx Cares project is part of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Five Star Urban Waters Restoration Grant awarded to the Wolf River Conservancy for which FedEx provides most of the funding.  Clean Memphis partnered with the Conservancy to lead the volunteers in a variety of activities, which... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, April 29, 2019

Experienced Paddlers Needed for Aquifer Research

The scientists at the Center for Applied Earth Science and Engineering Research at University of Memphis (CAESER) will be studying the Wolf River to measure the interaction between surface water and groundwater as part of the $5 million MLGW study of the aquifer. They will need volunteers to help deploy seepage meters in the River for a few weeks of June. Access to or ownership of a kayak would be very helpful! Please sign up at this link. Also, the... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, April 29, 2019

A Great Day for Epping Way Greenway

        On Sat., April 27th, our celebration of the new Epping Way section of the Wolf River Greenway kicked off early with the first ever Epping Way 5K Run, followed by a grand opening and ribboncutting ceremony featuring the mayors of Memphis and Shelby County. Participants in the 5K - including students from Memphis Rise Academy - made two laps down part of the Greenway and along N. Highland and Stage James roads before crossing the finish... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, April 29, 2019

Natural Highlights: Eastern Bluebird

                      Thanks to a proliferation of nest boxes and bluebird trails, the Eastern, Western, and Mountain Bluebirds have all made quite a comeback since the first half of the 20th century.  Both the rapid conversion of habitat and competition with introduced House Sparrows and European Starlings for nest cavities caused a dramatic decline in bluebird populations.  Fortunately, bluebirds take readily to constructed... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Thursday, April 18, 2019

Natural Highlights: Frankenstein Trees

The Bradford Pear Trees are in bloom, and every year there are more of them in the landscape.  This is not good news.  Fortunately, people everywhere are realizing that this tree is a problem - just do a quick Google search and see the numerous articles with titles similar to this one in  Southern Living  magazine: "Why Bradford Pears are the Worst Tree Ever." The Bradford Pear is a cultivar of the Pear ( Pyrus calleryana ) native to Asia... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, March 29, 2019

Clark Preserve Boardwalk Is Closed

Please be advised that the William B. Clark Preserve boardwalk is currently closed due to safety concerns.  It was damaged by recent flooding and will have to be repaired.  For more information, please contact West Tennessee Stewardship Ecologist Allan Trently, Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Thursday, March 28, 2019

Nutbush Landfill Defeated

Blaylock and Brown withdrew their application for a new landfill in the Nutbush area after a meeting of the Land Use Control Board on Mar. 14th. The wetlands on the property have, for the time being, evaded destruction thanks to the committed efforts of residents in Nutbush, Berclair and surrounding neighborhoods, along with those the Wolf River Conservancy, the Sierra Club, and Protect Our Aquifer.  The opponents of the landfill understood that... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Thursday, March 28, 2019

Congratulations and Thanks to Walt Houston on his Fundraising Paddle

We had a great turnout at Memphis Made to celebrate World Water Day and welcome Walt Houston home from his fundraising paddle down the length of the Wolf River, which raised over $5000 for the Conservancy.  On Mar. 7th, Walt Houston set out on an expedition to paddle the Wolf River, raising awareness about local conservation and invasive species.  He began his 100-mile journey at Baker's Pond, the source of the Wolf River.  His... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Thursday, March 28, 2019

Wolf River Harbor Cleanup

      212 volunteers came out on the morning of Mar. 23rd to participate in the Wolf River Harbor Cleanup, a joint effort of the Wolf River Conservancy and Living Lands and Waters.   Many people commented on the startling amount of trash, especially plastic trash, floating on the surface of the water or left on the bank by receding water.  Volunteers were able to pick up trash along the banks of Wolf River Harbor as well as directly from the... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Thursday, March 28, 2019

February 2019 ENewsletter

February 2019 ENEWSLETTER About Us Events & Activities Conservation Education Greenway Get Involved ... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, March 1, 2019

Join Us in Opposing the Nutbush Landfill

  The Land Use Control Board will meet at City Hall at 10am on Thurs., Mar. 14th, to discuss a proposed landfill in the 100-year floodplain of the Wolf River.  Please consider joining us at the meeting; the Wolf River Conservancy is opposed to constructing the landfill at the proposed location, and a show of public support is important! In the past year, there has been a heavy push for construction and demolition (C&D) landfills within the city limits of... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Thursday, February 28, 2019

Community Comes Together for Annual Tree Planting

  352 volunteers of all ages came out for a great morning of tree planting at Shelby Farms Park on Feb.16th!  The weather was chilly at first, but not miserable, and, together, we planted about 4,000 trees - Nuttall Oaks, Shumard Oaks, Swamp Chestnut Oaks, Northern Red Oaks, Bald Cypress, Black Gum, Water Tupelo, Yellow Poplar, Loblolly PIne, Buttonbush, and Eastern Redbud - a nice mix of species which will benefit our community in many ways for many years. A big thank you to... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, February 25, 2019

Land Trust Accreditation: Why It Matters

In August 2015, the Wolf River Conservancy became a nationally accredited land trust through the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) since 2008.  Today, approximately 400 land trusts – just 25% of the land trusts in our country - have achieved this coveted distinction, and the we are proud to be included in that number.  Becoming a nationally accredited land trust was a significant milestone for the Wolf River... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, February 25, 2019

Meet WRC Intern Will Thinnes!

Hi! My name is Will Thinnes, a current intern at the Wolf River Conservancy. Growing up in Memphis, I attended White Station High School and Lausanne Collegiate School, where I graduated in 2014. I first learned about the Wolf River Conservancy in high school after spending two weeks at the Summer Career Exploration Program, which allowed high school students to experience various environmental careers firsthand through field trips around the Memphis area. After high school, I attended... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, February 25, 2019

Natural Highlights: Shumard Oak

Shumard Oaks ( Quercus shumard ii ) were among the tree species planted during our Annual Tree Planting event on Feb.16th.  Oaks and hickories are the dominant tree species in the upland forests of the Midsouth and there are numerous species of both groups which can be difficult to tell apart.  In general, oaks can be grouped into "red oaks" which have sharply pointed lobes on their leaves and "white oaks" which have rounded lobes.  The... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Sunday, February 24, 2019

January 2019 Enewsletter

January 2019 ENEWSLETTER About Us Events & Activities Conservation Education Greenway Get Involved ... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, February 1, 2019

Wolf River 5K Draws 800 Runners

Over 800 runners participated in the second annual Wolf River 5K by Start2Finish Event Management on Saturday, January 19th. The Wolf River Conservancy was the beneficiary of the 5K, which was part of the Run the 901 Race Series, a training program for the Germantown Half Marathon. The Wolf River 5K was held on the Wolf River Greenway trail, which upon completion, will extend from the confluence of the Wolf River and Mississippi River at Mud Island to Germantown. Thank you to... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Meet Our Intern, Mary Katherine DeWane

Our recent intern, Mary Katherine DeWane, shares her experience with the Conservancy below: My name is Mary Katherine DeWane. I am a lifelong Memphian and a graduate of White Station High School. Currently, I am in my junior year at Harvard College, where I major in Biology. I have always loved nature and the environment, and my desire to work in a conservation-related career led me to join the Wolf River Conservancy as an intern for my winter break. During my time here, I have done many... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Great Turnout for Our Martin Luther King Day Service Project!

About 50 volunteers of all ages came out to the Epping Way segment of the Wolf River Greenway to participate in the Conservancy's Martin Luther King Day service project on Jan. 21st.  One group picked up trash deposited by illegal dumping, while another walked down the trail to plant approximately 150 trees including buttonbush, tupelo, and swamp chestnut oak.  Yet another group yanked up invasive privet from an area where the soil was soggy from the recent rain, while a... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Natural Highlights: Calling Chorus Frogs

Even on cold January days, one is likely to hear the calls of male Upland Chorus Frogs ( Pseudacris feriarum ) in shallow wetland areas, especially when the sun is shining and temperatures reach the 30's and 40's.  The call is unmistakable and has been compared to running a finger along the teeth of a plastic comb. Chorus Frogs are usually found near grassy ditches, flooded fields and temporary wetlands, both in urban areas and out in the country.  The males call to... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, January 22, 2019

December 2018 Enewsletter

December 2018 ENEWSLETTER About Us Events & Activities Conservation Education Greenway Get Involved ... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Thursday, January 3, 2019

Cornerstone Property Expands Protection for Wetlands

The Cornerstone Property , located off Bateman Road in Fayette County, is the final scenic stretch of the Ghost River section of the Wolf River before the take-out at the Bateman Bridge. This property represents the cornerstone of the Wolf River Conservancy mission – conservation, education and recreation – and includes the following highlights: The property includes both sides of the Wolf River channel Contains a rare plant community  Beautiful wetlands... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Thank you, Volunteers!

    THANK YOU to Boy Scout Peter Moore, longtime volunteer Marc Sherman, and new Conservancy board member John Hartney of FedEx for their hard work on Saturday, Dec. 15th, during a service project at the Lucius Burch trailhead at Shelby Farms Park.  Though the rain held off while we worked, it was still pretty soggy out.  The mild temperatures made for good privet clearing and tree planting weather nonetheless, and Peter was able to earn some of... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Sunday, December 16, 2018

Natural Highlights: It's Tree Planting Season!

Planting a tree on a mild winter day can be a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays! A tree is a gift to the local environment which gives back in many different ways, especially if the tree you plant is native to the Midsouth. Late fall, winter, and early spring are the best times to plant trees and shrubs in the Midsouth.  With the exception of the occasional hard freeze when soil temperatures reach 20 degrees or below, woody plants will generally thrive, putting... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Sunday, December 16, 2018

Nice Day for a Stroll

12 people and a pooch joined Jim Gafford for a relaxing stroll around the arboretum on the Wolf River Greenway off Humphreys Blvd. on Sunday, Dec. 16th.  The Wolf River Greenway Arboretum features 30 species of trees with labels, providing a great educational resource.  For more information on the Greenway Arboretum, including a list and a map of the trees, use this link. Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Sunday, December 16, 2018