Boyland’s efforts help keep Cooper-Young beautiful

Spring is in the air, and the neighborhood is abuzz with outdoor activity. Residents are tidying up yards and homes while the weather is mild, planting flowers and trees, ready to enhance all the beauty that the end of winter brings. The Cooper-Young Community Association shares residents’ interest in keeping the neighborhood beautiful and is always looking for ways to increase our aesthetic equity. After all, our whole purpose is to make Cooper-Young a safer, more desirable place to live, worship, work, and play!   In fact, the association has a committee of residents dedicated to beautification, and you are welcome to bring your ideas, resources, and even your “elbow grease” to aid that goal.

Demetrius Boyland

In a recent neighborhood survey conducted by the Cooper-Young Community Association (CYCA), the board of directors heard from neighbors that they need more information … information about what the association does and how the association provides tangible benefits to the community. This year we’ll introduce you to several members of the CYCA board of directors and their committees, including the CYCA Beautification Committee chaired by Demetrius Boyland.

Prior to joining the CYCA Board of Directors, Demetrius attended most of the monthly general meetings.  For those of you not familiar with the general meetings, they are held at the CYCA offices at 2298 Young Ave. on the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m., and all neighbors are invited to attend.  Refreshments are usually served prior to the meeting at 6 p.m., and children are welcome. It was at just such a meeting that Demetrius learned of an opening on the board. Having lived in the neighborhood for several years, she decided to apply for the slot and was accepted. In practically no time she stepped up to fill the empty Beautification Committee chairperson role, and she’s been busy with those efforts ever since.

As the chairperson for the Beautification Committee, Demetrius leads neighborhood projects dealing with aesthetics. This translates into quarterly neighborhood cleanups to keep our little piece of heaven free of debris and trash, networking with other organizations regarding public plantings and aesthetics, and organizing the installation of public art projects. In 2013, Demetrius’ committee hopes to see the resolution of two such public art projects: the Barksdale and McLean murals. Much work has gone into fundraising for the murals, obtaining permission from governmental and business entities, deciding on materials and artists, and organizing cleanup of the art sites. Quarterly cleanups will continue this year.  Demetrius would be thrilled if 2013 also brought increased neighborhood participation with the committee.

“It’s very easy to be involved,” Demetrius notes. “We have monthly meetings … the last Monday of every month. The time is 6 p.m.” Like the general meetings, Beautification Committee meetings are held at the CYCA offices at 2298 Young. “We welcome new faces, and I am open to all levels of commitment. The reason for involvement is simple. When individuals are involved, there is a sense of stewardship. This makes for a great neighborhood.”

So bring your ideas to the monthly Beautification Committee meeting and help keep your neighborhood looking its best. And if you want to support the efforts of the CYCA and its Beautification Committee but cannot fit committee involvement into your schedule, there is no better way to do that than by joining the Cooper-Young Community Association. You can join online at, you can stop by the CYCA offices at 2298 Young Ave., call our executive director at (901)272-2922, or fill out the membership form in this paper. Not only will you be supporting beautification efforts and all the other things the CYCA does to make life good in Cooper-Young, but you’ll also receive some fantastic local discounts including $5 off tickets to the April 13 Art for Art’s Sake Auction. The auction provides funds to maintain our signature piece of public art: the Cooper Street Trestle. See you there!

By Renee Massey

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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