Ongoing Projects

Ongoing Projects at Shelby Farms Park 

It takes a lot of hands to care for America's biggest urban park! Projects that will help improve the Park are going on all the time--from research to hands-on efforts to improve the park's ecology, and there are plenty of ways for you to get involved. This page will keep you up to date about the special projects made possible by generous foundations and granting organizations, research projects conducted with experienced university partners and other efforts to enhance the outdoors experience in the heart of Shelby County.

Park App | ShelbyFit | Park ACCESS | Forest Study | Park User Study | Privet Removal

shelby farms park app | keep the park in your pocket

Think our Heart of the Park renovations are exciting? So do we! That’s why we’ve created a new Shelby Farms Park app for you to track our progress and receive the most recent construction updates. The Shelby Farms Park app gives quick access to park information, including construction updates for Heart of the Park Enhancements, and offers a new way to interact with the park.   

Now available for download in the iTunes store for iOS and Android, the Shelby Farms Park app provides fast and efficient access to park information. The Shelby Farms Park app allows you to:  

  • View all of Shelby Farms Park’s attractions at a glance
  • Stay current on Heart of the Park construction and closures
  • Navigate the Park with a new dynamic map featuring clickable pins  
  • Make plans to attend upcoming events  
  • Read about all the diverse tree species in the arboretum 
  • Get to know the trails with new information on shade, distance and difficulty 

The new Shelby Farms Park app is a great compliment to the already successful ShelbyFit app, which helps users keep track of fitness goals.  Download the Shelby Farms Park App for iOS or Android by clicking the buttons below, or search “Shelby Farms Park “ in your application store. Go explore with the park at your fingertips!    

Download for Android

download for ios

Shelby fit app |
created + sponsored by baptist memorial healthcare

Want to work out but don’t know where to go? Download the ShelbyFit app to find fitness opportunities near you, like our trails, and to keep track of your fitness goals! This free app, created through a generous partnership with Baptist Memorial Healthcare, is a great tool to keep you moving and keep you on track.  

Download ShelbyFit

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a.c.c.e.s.s. [Adjacent community connections to enhance shelby farms park + shelby farms greenline]

Greenprint Subplanning Grant

We have finished the plans! SFPC and Ritchie Smith Associates (RSA) designed safe bike/ped access points to Shelby Farms Park and Greenline, and the plans are listed are below. This planning project was funded by a Mid-South Regional Greenprint subplanning grant that Shelby County Office of Sustainability awarded SFPC in 2013.

We chose three locations to research and design access points:

Perkins Rd. | connects 1,000 households to the Greenline + Park, filling a need for access in a 2.5 mi stretch of Greenline lacking an official access point to the trail. This project is in the works, read more here.

Appling Rd | connects >750 households to the Park + future Greenline East extension, enabling neighbors to safely cross Mullins Station Rd. into the Park and filling the need for an access point for the neighborhoods North of the Park

Gameday Baseball | links two outdoor amenities currently divided by a fence, enabling 350,000 visitors a year, many of whom are from out of town, to experience the largest urban park in the nation

The Greenprint subplanning grant funded schematic designs and advanced design drawings, however it does not cover the cost of construction. Thank you to everyone who attended the public input meetings, we received great feedback!

Click the images below to view the presentations from the public meetings. 


Gameday Baseball and Appling Rd. Presentation and Designs 

Perkins Rd. Presentation and Design

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Forest Study | University of Memphis + Tennessee Nature Conservancy

Visitors use the Lucius Burch Jr Natural Area (LBNA) to bike the White, Yellow and Blue trails, to go bird watching, to train or simply to escape in nature. The LBNA is a favorite spot for outdoor recreation and is a key habitat and refuge for species in the heart of Shelby County. As such, the Tennessee Nature Conservancy (TNC) has chosen the Lucius Burch Jr. State Natural Area as well as Overton Park's Old Forest, as the subjects of a study about forest health. 

TNC, OPC and SFPC all want to understand people's perceptions and ideas about nature and gather reactions to some common forest management techniques. A research team from the University of Memphis surveyed hundreds of people over the past several months and are now compiling their findings! 

We cannot wait to share what we learned from you, thank you for taking the time to give us feedback. You are helping us keep the park clean, green and safe.

Questions? Contact Dr. Keri Brondo, Associate Professor of Anthropology 901-678-2080 or

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Park User Study | University of Memphis, community foundation of greater memphis + Shelby Farms Park

SFPC is always trying to improve the way that people use and access Shelby Farms Park and Shelby Farms Greenline. This Park User Study focuses on how people use the Park and will help measure SFPC's management efforts. This study is a great example of community collaboration, and it involves two modes of data collection: 

  • University of Memphis Professor Mike Huffman and SFPC, along with various students and volunteers, are administering a year-long Park User Survey to better understand who is using the Park/Greenline, where they are coming from and what they would like to see happen (or not happen) here. 
  • In addition to the surveys, we have installed visitor tracking technology (Eco-Counters) to track the number of visitors using the Park and Greenline, what time of day they are visiting, and what mode of transportation they are using. Thanks to a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis and matching contribution from the Hyde Family Foundation, SFPC was able to purchase and install the Eco-Counters in Spring of 2014.

We have finished surveying, thank you for your input. We are compiling all the great information our community gave us and will be releasing the data this Summer- stay tuned!

Click the image below to view our recent presentation to fellow Strengthening Community grant recipients below. 


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wolf river wetland restoration (wr2) Project | National fish and wildlife foundation, ducks unlimited, + international paper

Shelby Farms Park Conservancy (SFPC) is fighting back to restore health to the Lucius Burch Jr. National Forest (LBNA).
We want to save our forest from this...

and have it thrive like this...

Because of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and generous matching support from International Paper and Ducks Unlimited, SFPC received the funds needed to begin eradicating invasive Chinese privet. The WR2 project is the largest conservation restoration project SFPC has undertaken to ensure the sustainability of the LBNA, which is more than 400 acres of forested land.

In 2012, the University Of Memphis Ecological Research Center completed an Inventory, Assessment and Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan for Shelby Farms Park. This Resources Management Plan shed light on the major ecological issues on Park land and provided solutions for restoring the health of the land. The health of the LBNA was the area causing most immediate concern. Less than 1 percent of the forest was deemed healthy in 2012, largely because of Chinese privet, an invasive plant species. 

Read about the Rangers' progress on our blog.

For more information on Chinese privet, the species invading the LBNA, download a brochure produced by our friends at Ducks Unlimited.

Download A Brochure

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The Perkins Project 

The Memphis community is working together to make this image a reality. 

At one of the public meetings for SFPC's Greenprint ACCESS project, the community latched on to our plans for safe access to the Shelby Farms Greenline and started a fundraising committee. Several months later, the project is gaining momentum. With a Facebook page spreading awareness and fundraising plans in the works, the Avon Neighborhood is evidence of the dedicated effort it takes to create livable communities.

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