project leader
Tk B
Carnes Avenue between Echles and Goodman
(Normal Station )
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the project

In 2012, the Normal Station Neighborhood Association identified an overgrown and wooded lot on the south side of a residential street, surrounded by houses in the very heart of their neighborhood as their #1 Problem Property.  Illegal dumping had occurred on the property and in its neglected state, it had become coopted by criminal enterprise, as theves and burglars used the property as a staging area and for storage of stolen property. And the deep piles of ground litter made it clear that just two blocks south of the University of Memphis campus, antisocial activity was taking place unabated.

As overgrowth and debris were removed, headstones became visible, and neighborhood legend about this lot being a long forgotten family cemetery were confirmed.  

Leveraging partnerships with the university and with the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, NSNA received a "Strengthening Communities" grant for Phase I redevelopment of the space, which included title searching and litigation for ownership (this is a great story and we will share more details as we fundraise), scanning the site using Ground Penetrating Sonar to confirm grave locations, and a full site review and comprehensive plan by architects, planners, anthropologists and artists. 

Beyond Phase I, everything accomplished on site has been done using volunteers and with donated materials and progress has been slow but we believe our approach ensures community ownership and will help secure this property into the future.  The university donated brick and the city's Parks division donated single hammer bark, and together with six different volunteer groups from Memphis City Beautiful and Clean Memphis, we've laid temporary walking paths throughout the site, and have removed poision ivy, oak and sumac and have filled all 190 feet of street front with bamboo cuttings multiple times.  We still have much to do, and today, Phase II begins with your generous donation to help us remove a dangerous tree that hangs precariously over the street and create a stairway entry onto the property.   Once we create safe access onto the site, we will install a Little Free Library, a story board and a small pavillion, for outdoor picnic, medication, exercise and silent disco!  Next will come more landscaping features and the conversion of the bark paths to ADA complaint walkways that seniors and neighbors with disabilities can also access.   

In a neighborhood where the student housing market often eclipses the needs of permanent residents, we believe we can all find common ground in our universal need for greenspace and time spent outdoors.  We appreciate your contribution.  


the steps

1. Contract for tree removal.  We secured three estimates and have identified the most affordable vendor, and upon release of funds this will be our first expenditure.  

2. Contract for entryway creation.  We secured three estimates and have identified the most affordable vendor, and once the tree is safely removed this contractor will come and pour new concrete steps and build hand rails.  

why we're doing it

In accepting ownership and purging the property of trash and overgrowth, we've already reduced risk and reduced crime on this street.  Next, we propose to make the site more attractive for users-- to help entice use of this once hidden community asset.  Our community has many 'Makers' who crave outdoor space to make art and excercise.  We want to do yoga together, to plant flowerbeds together, to paint, to write, to create a bike/pedestrian destination for our surrounding neighbors to also come and enjoy.  We love talking about it, love showing off the space and we're grateful for any support you can offer.  


Disbursed Budget:

Barton Stone will do the steps for $1,500 and Red's Tree Service will charge us $1,950 for a total of $3,450

TOTAL RAISED = $3,590.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $107.70

Original budget:

$1,950 tree removal and trimming.  

$1,500 creation of entryway/ front steps


ioby Platform Fee $35

ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $104

Total to Raise on ioby= $3,589


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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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