project leader
Rod S
292 W. Virginia Ave.
(Downtown/S. Main/ Riverfront)
latest update rss
We're so close!

the project

Memphians and visitors alike are enjoying the Big River Crossing pedestrian/bike path over the Mississippi River. However, other than the path itself, there are no additional amenities: no playground, no benches, no picnic tables, no shade, not even a drinking fountain. Our church, The Church of the River, is uniquely positioned to change that, by developing a playground area to make the Big River Crossing a true family-friendly destination, where children can safely play and adults can relax and find water and shade.

Immediately adjacent to the Big River Crossing path is a large grassy section of our property that we use as a play area for our Sunday school youth and for occasional after-church events. The area is fenced-in for safety, and contains a small swing set and small plastic climbing structure, as well as a large shade tree. We would like to open this playground to the public, and also make it environmentally-friendly and accessible for physically-challenged children.

Our plans include: replacing the existing play structures with larger or more diverse play equipment that would be appropriate for a variety of ages, installing a safety surface and drainage, extending water lines to install a drinking fountain, creating a concrete walkway from the Big River Crossing path through the playground, purchasing benches and picnic tables, and planting new trees and foliage. But while we have the available space on our property, and the desire to share it, we are just a small congregation and, therefore, do not have the funds to make all the necessary improvements. While our congregation will fund many  of these improvements, we are also seeking donations and grants from other sources. Through this IOBY project, we are hoping to raise enough funds to extend the water lines and install a public drinking fountain, and create a "tot play" area especially for toddlers. (The playground would be reserved for church use only on Sunday mornings from 10am to noon, and occasionally during special outdoor church events.)

the steps

We have engaged the services of a landscape architect, Ritche Smith Associates, to help plan the playground. The next step is to have a topographical survey done. Once fund-raising is completed, we will begin the construction of a concrete pathway and installation of a drinking fountain.

why we're doing it

We believe this playground would benefit the quality of life not only for families who live in the South Main/Downtown area, but also families from across Shelby County who visit the Big River Crossing, and adults who walk, run or bike across the bridge. Our church's desire is to be a "good neighbor" to all.


Disbursed budget, 12.30.2019:

Drinking fountain $8,000
Tot play area $10,000
Benches, picnic tables, trash/recycling cans $6,000
New pedestrian entrance gate $1,000
Safety signage $253.25
Total $25,253.95

TOTAL RAISED = $26,035.00
ioby Platform Fee waived
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $781.05


Updated Budget 9.6.19

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $774
TOTAL TO RAISE = $25,809

Updated budget 8.27.19

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $620
TOTAL TO RAISE = $20,655

Original budget:

Outdoor drinking fountain  $8,000

Tot play area  $2,000

SUBTOTAL $10,000

ioby Platform Fee $35

ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $300

Total to Raise on ioby= $10,335


We're so close!

Thanks to the great community response, we are close to reaching our goal! We have made arrangements to begin the topographic survey of the playground, which is the first step needed to begin work. We just need a few more donors who can help us reach out goal. If you haven't donated yet, or know anyone who might want to donate, please send them this link!  Thank you again!

Budget update

Thanks to the great news coverage, and more and more people sharing this project on social media, our fundraising efforts really accelerated! We've increased the budget a bit, in hopes that we can raise more money and allow our dollars to stretch a little farther in Phase 1 of the project. Please continue to help us spread the word! Thanks to all!

Excitement is growing!

Hi everyone! Excitement over our plans are really growing. Our campaign is only a couple of weeks old, but already we've reached the halfway point in our fundraising! A huge thank-you to everyone who has donted so far!

We've received great response from the community. Our fundraising plans have been shared on social media by the Big River Crossing, Friends of the Riverfront, the Memphis Downtowner, and dozens of excited Memphis residents. And below you'll find links to coverage in the Commercial Appeal, WREG-TV, and WMC-TV.

Remember, all individual donations up to $1000 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Memphis New Century of Soul Challenge!

So please help us continue to spread the word, and ask your friends and family to help!



This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Friends For Life
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Danielle Keeton
  • Lucy McArtor
  • Josh and Llewellyn Hall
  • Carla Love Maitland
  • Dawn Vincent
  • Barbara and Barry Kuhn
  • Anonymous
  • Ellen Klyce
  • Tina & Pete Sullivan
  • Martha S.
  • Anonymous
  • Andy and Pam Branham
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Daniel C DeShon
  • Dorothy Fest
  • kay & charlie mcvean
  • Anonymous
  • The Rugel Family
  • Katherine and Bill Kaelin
  • Friends for Our Riverfront
  • Laretha Randolph
  • andrew c.
  • Fred Wimmer
  • Rebecca J.
  • Kay & Charlie McVean
  • Margaret I Park
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Sandy Kozik
  • Dow and Nikki McVean
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Marilynn & Bill
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Deb Walker
  • John Gemmill
  • Anonymous
  • Sid Phadke
  • Caron Lumsden
  • Pam B.
  • Naomi R.
  • Tim Parks
  • Daniel
  • Betty Turner
  • Deede and Robert Wyatt
  • Mike Leneke
  • The Naylor Family
  • Mike and Lori Schooler
  • Carolyn and David Hinske
  • Anonymous
  • Ellen hornyak
  • Hank D.
  • Eason Family
  • Vickie Clark
  • Anonymous
  • Starns Family
  • Anonymous