Consortium

Consortium Members

The Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan was made possible through the financial support of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Consortium that developed the plan is comprised of representatives from each of the three states (Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas)  and all counties within the Memphis and West Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization regions. The following individuals and organizations were essential to the creation of this plan:

A Better Memphis
Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence
Arkansas Rural Delta Heritage Initiative
Arkwings Foundation
Binghampton Development Corporation
Christian Brothers University
City of Bartlett, Tennessee
City of Germantown, Tennessee
City of Hernando, Mississippi
City of Lakeland, Tennessee
City of Marion, Arkansas
City of Memphis, Tennessee
City of Millington, Tennessee
City of West Memphis, Arkansas
Clean Fuels of West Tennessee
Clean Memphis
Colonial Acres Neighborhood Association
Community Development Council of Greater Memphis
Community L.I.F.T.
Concorde Career College
Crittenden Regional Hospital
Crosstown, LLC and Crosstown Arts
DeSoto County Greenways
Downtown Memphis Commission
Frayser Community Development Corporation
Friends for Our Riverfront
Greater Memphis Greenline
GrowMemphis
Harahan Bridge Project
Healthy Lifestyle Alliance
Hyde Family Foundations
Impact Community Development Corporation
Joel Breen
JPA Inc.
Knowledge Quest
Latino Memphis
Le Bonheur Community Health and Well-Being
Livable Memphis
Memphis Area Association of Governments
Memphis Area Association of REALTORS
Memphis Area Transit Authority

Memphis Bioworks Foundation
Memphis Botanic Gardens
Memphis Center for Independent Living
Memphis Friendship FoundationMemphis Regional Design Center
Mid-South Greenways Steering Committee
Mid-South Peace and Justice Center
Mississippi River Corridor Tennessee
North Delta Planning and Development District
Oasis of Hope
Overton Park Conservancy
Pigeon Roost Community Development Corporation
Raleigh Community Development Corporation
Ritchie Smith and Associates
Riverview Kansas Community Development Corporation
Roots Memphis
Self + Tucker Architects
Shelby County Historical Commission
Shelby County Schools
Shelby County, Tennessee
Shelby Farms Park Conservancy
Sierra Club
Small Planet Works
SOLIDS, Inc.
Strawberry Plains Audubon Center
Taylor Waller
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
The Works, Inc.
Town of Arlington, Tennessee
Town of Collierville, Tennessee
Trust for Public Land
TRUST Marketing
U.S. Green Building Council, Memphis
University Neighborhoods Development Corporation
University of Memphis
Urban Land Institute, Memphis
Victorian Village Community Development Corporation
Vollintine Evergreen Community Association
West Tennessee Urban Forestry Council
Wolf River Conservancy
YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South

Roles and Responsibilities

The process of developing the Greenprint plan was a collaborative effort of the Mid-South Regional Greenprint Consortium, a group of over 80 organizations and 300 individuals. With representatives from public, private, non-profit, philanthropic, and community sectors working together, the Consortium guided development of the vision and final plan.

In addition, many elected officials, community leaders, and community partners have been involved in the planning process and will remain vital to successful plan implementation, such as mayors of the region,
congressional staff, Chambers, health officials, colleges, and community organizations.

The vision and goals of this plan are ambitious; fulfilling them successfully will require a creative approach. No single sector in the Mid-South region can be expected to implement this plan alone. The Consortium provided an initial forum for collaboration among representatives of the region. This level of regional interest and coordination provided great value to the region, and great effort should be made to preserve and expand upon it as the plan transitions to implementation.

As urban areas throughout the United States continue to grow, they will also continue to compete and attract employers and investment at the regional scale. With the Consortium, the Mid-South region is well positioned to coordinate its growth and future development in a way that other, less organized regions will not be able to accomplish. This section outlines suggested roles and responsibilities for the core types of stakeholders involved in implementation of this plan. The actual roles and relationships will vary over time, but this offers a starting point for implementation.

 

Memphis & Shelby County Office of Sustainability

As the administrator of the planning grant for the regional plan, this office will play a significant role in implementation of the regional plan. The office will continue to organize the Consortium and working groups through implementation and will update the regional plan in regular intervals. Initially, the office will serve as a central entity to ensure implementation of the plan, but will transition this role to another entity when appropriate.

 

Consortium Members and Working Groups

As currently structured, the Consortium is an ideal collaboration to initiate implementation of the plan. The Consortium provides an ideal structure for coordination across different focus areas in order to ensure the comprehensive nature of the Strategic Directions is addressed. The Consortium should lead in initiating recommendations of the Strategic Directions, recruit new member organizations to the Consortium, and monitor and evaluate progress of implementation.

 

Local Government Agencies

Many of the communities in the Mid-South region are active in trail planning and development, health initiatives, multimodal transportation, and other areas related to the Greenprint. Communities with greater experience should share strategies (such as effective policies and procedures and budget estimates) with their neighboring communities that have less experience. The Consortium could be the facilitator of such an exchange, and it could also offer guidance in several other areas, including the following municipal and county tasks:

  • County and municipal parks and recreation directors should formulate an annual plan of action for their trails programs.
  • County and municipal planners should ensure trail connectivity between jurisdictional boundaries and enact local policies that facilitate and support the plan.
  • County and municipal planners and engineers should aim for uniform standards in trail facilities, such as signage and wayfinding.
  • County and municipal planners should encourage best practices in creating communities with a mix of homes, jobs, shopping, entertainment, parks, and other amenities served by walking, biking, and transit, where available.

Prior to the beginning of each fiscal year, the counties and local municipalities should adopt a budget for expenditures of funding that supports elements of the plan, whether related to trails, parks, open space, health initiatives, or alternative transportation. Having even a small budget set aside allows for greater opportunities in securing outside funding sources that require or look favorably on potential partners with matching funds.

 

Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs)

The region’s two Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) are the Memphis Urban Area MPO and the West Memphis MPO. Participation of these groups is important for the sake of overall efficiency in implementation, as they already have representatives from local communities, such as planners and officials. Together, these organizations have a huge influence on the way the Mid-South region will grow and develop in the coming decades, with critical decisions being made regarding land use and transportation. These groups should:

  • Enact and support policies that facilitate and support the regional plan;
  • Make multimodal transportation a priority for future projects and funding;
  • Consider the locations of proposed trail routes and on-street connectors from the Concept Map, and take them into account in planning, design, construction and maintenance projects; and
  • Include representatives of the Greenprint consortium, including planners and community organizations on advisory committees.

 

State Agencies

For this plan, key state government departments in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi include the transportation departments, parks and natural resource departments, health departments, cultural and historic departments, and commerce and tourism departments.Their involvement in this plan’s implementation will vary by topic and department.

Transportation departments should assist in implementing proposed bicycle, pedestrian and trail-related facilities, including projects adjacent to or that intersect with state roadways, such as multi-use paths and on-street improvements to roadways, intersections, bridges, and underpasses. Transportation departments should continue to work with local and regional planners on coordination of upcoming and future roadway projects with bicycle, pedestrian and trail recommendations.

State-level parks and natural resource departments should provide guidance on Greenprint’s potential impact on natural resource areas and proper alignment of trails through sensitive and regionally significant environmental features, as well as support local projects through statewide green space funding opportunities.

State departments of health should be included in implementation activities to establish important connections supportive of state-wide public health goals.

Cultural and historic departments should provide guidance on trail connectivity to regionally significant cultural and historic sites, and how those sites could best be better promoted, interpreted, and protected through connection with the trail network.

Commerce and tourism departments should be prepared to help attract new businesses and investment to the region as regional amenities such as trails and open spaces become more connected and accessible.

 

Non-Profit and Citizen Groups

Many non-profit agencies and citizen-led groups are already involved in this project, and have been advancing similar goals for many years. Non-profit organizations and citizen groups play a critical role in implementation as their involvement represents and reflects the citizen ownership of the plan. Some specific actions they can Shelby Farms Greenline take in implementation include:

  • Lead development of trails and other elements of the Strategic Directions;
  • Advocate, promote, and encourage the development of trails and other elements of the plan throughout the region;
  • Participate as members of the Consortium and its working groups;
  • Rally public support for key public hearings and coordinate mass e-mail campaigns for special votes;
  • Coordinate volunteer efforts with representatives from the necessary agencies;
  • Assist in developing and coordinating educational programs and special events in conjunction with the partner agencies and organizations;
  • Keep local leaders informed about trail-related issues and developments through direct dialogue and personal e-mail; and
  • Promote trail development among local leaders through creative approaches, such as organized tours of existing trails.

 

Private Sector and Business Community Leaders

Private sector organizations are playing an increasingly important role in getting trail projects ‘on-the-ground’ in regions throughout the United States as they develop a greater understanding of the value and impact of quality of life factors on recruitment and retention of skilled workers. Residential and commercial developers are increasingly understanding the value that walkability and related amenities such as parks and trails bring to their projects, and local business owners see value in recreation-based and tourism economies, as well as in making streetscape improvements that are more inviting to customers.

Traditionally, individual businesses have supported quality of life improvements through financial or in-kind sponsorship development opportunities; however, they are increasingly finding they can have greater impact by participating in coalitions of businesses that have quality of life improvements as a key focus area.

For instance, the Atlanta Committee for Progress, a coalition of business, academic, civic and philanthropic executives working to provide leadership on economic development in Atlanta, supports implementation of the Atlanta BeltLine. In the Mid-South region, the Greater Memphis Chamber Chairman’s Circle, created to engage Memphis business leaders on a variety of issues that affect Memphis and the Mid-South currently has more than 100 members. The Chairman’s Circle has identified “Advance Green Space for Citizens and Retain Talent” as one of its five Moon Missions. This effort could have tremendous impact on successful Greenprint implementation.
In addition to financial or in-kind support of green infrastructure development, some examples of how individual businesses and coalitions of businesses can facilitate implementation of this plan include:

  • Encourage all leaders of businesses to become familiar with the benefits, financial and otherwise, of creating environments and streetscapes that accommodate and encourage walking and bicycling and link these benefits to improved quality of life outcomes;
  • Provide facilities at employment locations which support commuting by bicycle, walking, and transit;
  • Support partnerships with local organizations on projects that improve regional quality of life, helping to attract and retain employees; and
  • For business leaders that are already part of the Consortium, support or participate in developing a corporate sponsorship policy for trail implementation and other related goals of the plan.

 

Regional Leaders

Examples of regional leaders include the mayors of the region and federal congressional staff. Their continued support and involvement is critical and can come in many forms, including:

  • Be champions of the Greenprint by speaking in support of it, celebrating related achievements, and advocating for local and regional investments;
  • Support policies that enhance conditions for walking, bicycling, trail development, and other related elements of the plan; and
  • Provide annual funding for trail and roadway improvements for bicycle and pedestrian transportation that could be used for construction or matching grants for construction.