Ryan Poe, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee
The philanthropic arm of a Tennessee health care insurer will pump $5.4 million into a revitalization of David Carnes Park in Whitehaven, the nonprofit announced Monday.
The park, which is just south of East Shelby Drive and Auburn Road, will receive $4.5 million in new construction projects and a $900,000 endowment for maintenance from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, according to a release.
The park revamp is the first for the BlueCross Healthy Place Program, an initiative aimed at improving public spaces to foster healthy communities across the state.
The park was selected with input from the city. Memphis City Council member Patrice Robinson and Mayor Jim Strickland hosted a neighborhood town hall meeting Monday to announce the investment and ask residents what they want to see in the park; which included everything from athletic fields and walking tracks to playgrounds and fitness areas.
“Input from residents is crucial to the project’s success,” BlueCross Memphis market president Kevin Woods, formerly director of the city’s Workforce Investment Network, said in the release. “The space will be an asset to their community — an area where they can be active and form new connections. It will truly be a hub of renewed civic activity and a jewel in the Memphis park system.”
PlayCore, a national play and recreation construction company, will complete the project — possibly alongside local and diverse suppliers, according to the nonprofit.