The Greater Memphis Greenline (GMG) is a registered 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to building a network of multi-use trails throughout Shelby County and beyond. GMG works closely with neighborhood stakeholders to build awareness of and support for trails in their communities and connects to neighborhood schools and community organizations to share the benefits of a healthier lifestyle and the role of Greenlines in creating an active life.
Through the development of a multi-use trail network, Greater Memphis Greenline’s vision is to be a leader in improving community health & wellness and stimulating economic development for all segments of our society.
The Greater Memphis Greenline began in 2004 with the dream of converting an abandoned rail corridor in east Memphis into the area’s first long distance multi-use trail. The overwhelming success of that first project encouraged the Board to take on even more ambitious plans. We initiated the Harahan Bridge Project (Big River Crossing), the Broad Street/ Overton Park Connector (Hampline) and the Fairgrounds Connector (Tillman Elevated Bridge) at the western terminus of the Shelby Farms Greenline. These projects have been adopted by other local entities and continue to receive GMG’s ongoing collaborative support. Our vision is helping to shape the new Memphis. Now we are working on rails-to-trails conversion in both north Memphis (Chelsea Avenue Greenline) and south Memphis.
Since the cycle time to complete these rails-to-trails conversions can take many years (11 years on average), GMG is using its resources to build the local constituencies for bicycling and walking. Our continuing effort is to extend our reach to all residents regardless of ethnicity or income through education and advocacy. Our success should be measured by the continuously increasing numbers of those going outside to take a walk or a bicycle ride in the Memphis area. The effect of the successful promotion of the active living agenda produces economic and cross-community benefits for all.
Working with other local agencies, GMG promotes walking programs and bicycle “rodeos” that stress safety as well as recreation. Children in the Memphis community need to have access to helmets to ride more safely and specifically, to reduce the possibility of head trauma caused by accidents. GMG is committed to the goal of bicycle helmets for Memphis children who otherwise would not have them.
Our primary tool for advocacy is collaboration. From its inception, GMG has worked with organizations such as the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, local government agencies, civic, educational and religious groups to build the community support needed to build more spaces to take a walk or ride a bicycle safely. Collaboration is the “special sauce” that magnifies our efforts. Thanks to our efforts and those of our collaborating partners, Memphis is receiving POSITIVE national press for its improvement to our infrastructure.
GMG wants all those who have expressed an interest in using our outdoor space to feel that the Greater Memphis Greenline is their voice to effect positive change. Specifically, we are in business to promote an active living lifestyle. Increased numbers of trails, sidewalks, bike lanes and park space all play a major part in the cultural shift taking place in our community.
Board of Directors 2017
Alan Catmur, Chair
Delta Asset Management
Syd Lerner, Vice Chair
Memphis City Beautiful
Dennis Midgett, Treasurer
Jordan Reifler, Secretary
Smith & Nephew