HYDE FAMILY FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEW $5.2 MILLION COMMITMENT TO SUPPORT RIVERFRONT TRANSFORMATION
Foundation’s support to be celebrated this Friday at Grand Opening of the River Line and River Garden
MEMPHIS — Hyde Family Foundation has committed an additional $5.2 million to advance the transformation of the Memphis riverfront. The gift to the Memphis River Parks Partnership will support the redesign of the riverfront from bluff to bank between Carolina and Beale Street, including Tom Lee Park. Memphis River Parks Partnership will also use this grant to support a new staff position, the Hyde Fellow in Community Engagement.
This new gift will advance the $70 million capital campaign underway to advance the Memphis Riverfront Concept. This new gift brings the Hyde Family Foundation’s investment in the Memphis riverfront to $6.265 million since 2016. Almost $32 million is committed to the campaign in this early stage.
“We believe in the future of Memphis. Making a riverfront that reflects the ambitions Memphians have for our city is a major civic statement,” said Barbara Hyde, Chair and CEO of Hyde Family Foundation. “A reinvigorated riverfront — designed by two of the nation’s best design teams — will support a new Brooks on the Bluff and transform the heart of our downtown.”
In addition to the capital campaign, the Hyde gift will support a new staff position with the Partnership — the Hyde Fellow in Community Engagement. A search to fill the position will begin next week. The fellow will develop deep programming and new engagement opportunities designed to increase stewardship and ensure that Memphians of all backgrounds feel part of their parks.
Hyde Family Foundation supported the development of the Memphis Riverfront Concept. The concept, completed in 2017, provides a blueprint for the future of the riverfront. Hyde Family Foundation President Teresa Sloyan is a member of the Memphis River Parks Partnership board and is an active member of the building committee working with Studio Gang and SCAPE to redesign the riverfront from Carolina to Beale Street and top of the bluff to the riverbank. Another grant of $750,000 from the Hyde Family Foundation funded the River Line, a 5-mile walking and biking trail that connects the Wolf River Greenway on Mud Island with Tom Lee Park and Big River Trail Crossing and Trails across the Mississippi River.
This new gift will be celebrated at the opening of the River Line and River Garden Friday November 9. The opening and celebration will take place in the new River Garden located on Riverside Drive between Court and Jefferson from 5–7:30 p.m. The entire community is invited to enjoy the new river garden with live music, food and drink, and activities for all ages including nature walks and s’mores.
“This generous support from the Hyde Family Foundation adds to the momentum of this effort to make our riverfront all that it should be. The community is coming together around a remarkable opportunity to transform the most iconic real estate in the city,” said Bruce Hopkins, co-chair of the Memphis River Parks Partnership capital campaign.
“With the completion of the River Line and River Garden, which we celebrate this Friday, we’re already seeing change coming to the riverfront,” added Laura Morris, co-chair of the Memphis River Parks Partnership capital campaign. “It’s beautiful to see more engagement and activity along the riverfront. As we’ve seen at Shelby Farms, high quality public spaces bring people together and create a stronger community. The opportunity on the riverfront is unparalleled and momentum is growing.”
The River Line and River Garden open Friday November 9 with a community celebration in the garden (located on Riverside Drive between Court and Jefferson streets) at 5PM. RSVP at rivergarden.eventbrite.com.