Ground breaks for new public park in once-blighted Downtown area

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit...
The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. It has awarded $120 million in grants since 2005. The foundation provides funding for the BlueCross Healthy Place program, which creates active, healthy spaces across Tennessee.(BlueCross Healthy Place)
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 3:19 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A once-blighted patch in Downtown Memphis is on its way to being transformed into a new recreational greenspace for residents and visitors alike.

Thursday’s groundbreaking for the new BlueCross Healthy Place at Foote Park was joined by city representatives and members of the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation.

This is the second Healthy Place to be built in Memphis. The second park is located at David Carnes Park in Whitehaven.

BlueCross Healthy Places are designed to strengthen communities across Tennessee by providing neighbors with spaces for connection and healthy activity.

The BlueCross Foundation is investing $750,000 in the project at Foote Park, including $650,000 for the build and $100,000 in a maintenance fund.

It was the Memphis Housing Authority that applied for the park’s funding. They shared the following in their submission:

“The park will serve as an important point of connection tying South City and the I Am a Man Plaza to the Downtown Memphis area. It will activate existing green space, helping to further transform once neglected, blighted grounds to a gathering and recreational space for residents and visitors.”

When completed, the space will feature:

  • A large play area
  • A Thrive fitness station
  • A swing set
  • Freestanding play and climbing areas

The play area will be constructed with accessible poured-in-place surfacing for visitors of all abilities.

To date, the BlueCross Foundation has invested $34.8 million in BlueCross Healthy Place projects across the state. There are 17 projects open statewide with more on the way.

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