MDN: Summer Pop-Up Park Planned for Riverfront
Following the popularity of this past winter’s Fourth Bluff Ice Rink, organizers announced they will launch a new temporary public gathering and recreation space at Mississippi River Park this summer.
Dubbed RiverPlay, the vernal pop-up park will run from early May through August, with installation set to begin April 22 when portions of Riverside Drive will close for the Memphis In May events at Tom Lee Park.
“Memphis has the best natural riverfront in the country, and it is important that find ways to make the most out of every square inch of these remarkable public spaces,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said. “As our Downtown core continues to develop and welcome new residents, workers, and visitors all the time, programs like Fourth Bluff and innovative projects like RiverPlay illuminate exact why our riverfront is so special.”
The temporary park will span both Mississippi River Park and the adjacent parts of Riverside Drive that will be closed to vehicular traffic. Some of the highlights will include playing fields, basketball courts, a skating rink, and spaces for mobile food vendors.
The project’s costs are funded by private contributions to the Fourth Bluff program, and its partners include the Memphis Grizzlies, the City of Memphis, Riverfront Development Corporation, and Downtown Memphis Commission.
The Fourth Bluff, which draws its name from the four separate bluffs that compromise the Chickasaw Bluff formation, refers to a four block area of the riverfront that includes the Cossitt Library, the Law School promenade, Memphis Park, Mississippi River Park, and portions of the Riverwalk that connect them.
Memphis was one of five cities that was selected for the nationwide Reimagining the Civic Commons initiative, which is a partnership of the JPB Foundation, the Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation that seeks to foster civic engagement, economic opportunity and environmental sustainability through revitalizing and connecting parks, libraries, community centers, and other public places.