Thursday, January 14, 2016

Strickland Urges Zoo, Park Officials to Reach Agreement

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 5:01 PM

A strip of land along a northern part of the Greensward at Overton Park where zoo officials removed 27 trees this week. - GET OFF OUR LAWN
  • Get Off Our Lawn
  • A strip of land along a northern part of the Greensward at Overton Park where zoo officials removed 27 trees this week.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland asked Thursday that the Memphis Zoological Society (MZS) and Overton Park Conservancy (OPC) leaders to meet together with him to find a new course of action on the issue of parking on the Overton Park Greensward, according to a statement form Strickland's office.   

Tensions are once again running high on the issue, sparked by the removal of 27 trees by zoo officials this week. The removal was done to create more parking for zoo patrons on the park's Greensward but it was not approved by the OPC.

  • McGowen
Doug McGowen, the city's chief operating officer said "passions are running high" on the issue and that the friction was caused by the success that the zoo and park are experiencing.    

The city has agreements in place with both the MZS and the OPC, McGowen said, and the mayor will ask them to come back to him with a timeline for a mutually agreeable course of action.

"In the meantime, we’ve asked both parties not to take any actions that would inflame the situation," McGowen said in a statement. "Both have agreed to do that. We know this won’t be fixed overnight. We ask that the community give us the time to reach a solution that works for everyone – most importantly, the people who use the park and the zoo."

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