Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Zoo To Again Use Smaller Greensward Footprint

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 2:48 PM

click to enlarge The Memphis Zoo installed this temporary wall last weekend to separate protestors from zoo visitors. - TOBY SELLS
  • Toby Sells
  • The Memphis Zoo installed this temporary wall last weekend to separate protestors from zoo visitors.

This coming weekend, the Memphis Zoo will use only one-third of the Overton Park Greensward for overflow parking.

The zoo agreed to use the smaller footprint two weeks ago in a compromise with protesters. Last weekend, the zoo once again stuck to its smaller footprint but it put up a temporary wall of metal gates that separated protesters from zoo visitors.

Here's the short statement from the zoo regarding this weekend's plans:   

"As part of its ongoing efforts to ensure an enjoyable experience for all visitors to the Memphis Zoo and Overton Park, the Zoo again plans to use the original one-third footprint of the Greensward for overflow parking on an as-needed basis this weekend."

Last weekend's protest on the Greensward drew hundreds to line up along the zoo's wall to chant, sing, and point cars off of the Greensward. Police presence was heavy with mounted police, mobile units, and the Memphis Police Department helicopter circling overhead.

That presence cost city taxpayers about $38,000, according to figure form Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland's office.

No word yet on MPD's plans for monitoring the Greensward this weekend. 

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