Park design unveiled as Memphis neighborhood marks next phase of $5.4-million ‘BlueCross Healthy Place’ effort
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In a June 14 ceremony, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation broke ground at Memphis’ David Carnes Park on the first project under its new strategic focus, the BlueCross Healthy Place program.
The ceremony, which marks the beginning of the construction phase of the project, followed extensive planning and input from residents of the Whitehaven neighborhood where the park is located. Development of the space will continue throughout the summer with the aim of opening the revitalized park by the end of the year.
In attendance from the city were Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Councilwoman Patrice Robinson.
“Reinvesting in our neighborhoods is a major part of what we’re doing at City Hall, but we can’t do it alone. I can’t thank the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation enough for this multi-million-dollar investment in this park, in Whitehaven, and in helping Memphians connect with one another through public spaces,” said Strickland.
The event, held at Greater Faith Tabernacle Ministries adjacent to the park, began with a design reveal, showing attendees the elements that will appear in the redesigned space. Among these were a play area, a new walking track, an adult fitness area and a splash pad, all requested by local residents.
Kevin Woods, BlueCross Memphis market president, welcomed the attendees. “We’re excited to be breaking ground on this project as envisioned by the community it is intended to serve. The BlueCross Healthy Place at David Carnes Park will provide Whitehaven residents a reimagined public space to connect with one another and stay active,” he said.
Following the reveal, attendees watched as Strickland, Robinson, Woods and Scott Wilson, director of community relations and foundation for BlueCross, officially broke ground on the project. Afterwards, the group was invited to explore the park and visit stations containing additional information about the redesign.
Wilson said, “The David Carnes Park project has been a true partnership with the residents of the Whitehaven area, and the design reflects their input.”
The project is the first of many that will take place across the state through the BlueCross Healthy Place program.
For the latest updates on the project at David Carnes Park, please visit bettertennessee.com.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission is to provide peace of mind through better health. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on serving more than 3.5 million members in Tennessee and across the country. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.bcbst.com.