As spring approaches, the Cooper-Young Garden Club is blooming with an unprecedented level of activity.
First up, to share with the neighborhood all the big things they are doing, the Garden Club is taking over the Cooper-Young Community Association monthly meeting on March
8th. The meeting will be at our office at 2298 Young and will begin with a social half hour from 6 to 6:30 p.m. with speakers from the Garden Club to follow.
The meeting will include a Garden Club demonstration on defense plants for your home. They’ll also be filling us all in on their other project, including a new effort to put pocket parks at some of our under-developed neighborhood entrances and the inaugural Cooper-Young Garden Walk.
Building on the success of such projects as the rail road trestle and the “I Love Memphis” mural, the pocket parks project is effort to imbue some of the neighborhood’s less attractive with the same cool, funky, vibrancy.
The project focuses on the intersections of Cooper-Southern and Young-East Parkway, crucial gateways to the neighborhood seen daily by thousands of car drivers weekly. These intersections gateways are flanked by commercial businesses, but planners hope to get the owners to agree to let the Garden Club soften their hardscape with attractive, unique flower filled containers. If enough money is raised, they’d also get distinctive signage identifying the neighborhood boundaries at those intersections.
Beautifying these intersections will increase property values, enhance neighborhood pride, and signal to visitors they are entering a well-loved neighborhood. Residents closest to the intersections will feel more connected to the neighborhood.
The project is budgeted at $7,000, but the Garden Club recently was selected to participate in the Green Up Memphis matching grant program. Funded through a grant from Livable Memphis on the crowd-funding website ioby.org, the grant will match raised funds dollar for dollar, so the club needs to only raise $3,500. Donations can be made online at ioby.org/project/cooper-young-gateway-gardens.
The 1st annual Cooper-Young Garden Walk, which will take place Saturday, May 21st from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., is a self-guided tour of 20 private, urban, offbeat gardens and three business green spaces located in the Cooper-Young neighborhood.
Garden styles run the gamut from organic vegetable gardens and free-range chicken coops to cottage, formal, whimsical, and serene. Visitors are invited to start their day at the Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market at 9 a.m., grab breakfast, and then begin visiting gardens on one side of Cooper. After stopping for lunch at one of the many fine eating establishments on Cooper or Young, they can then the tour with the other gardens on the other side of Cooper. Afterwards, guests can have drinks or dinner before calling it a day. Additionally, there will be scheduled garden speakers and an “Ask the Master Gardener” booth. Complimentary maps are available for pickup at each house on the tour. You can visit the gardens in any order and at your own pace.
At the March 8th meeting the Garden Club will have information on how residents can help support this new event.
Tickets for Cooper-Young are available after March 15th at Stone Soup Cafe and at the Cooper Young Community Association office. Early bird tickets are $10, day of walk tickets are $15. No pets, please. Proceeds. Proceeds from the garden walk go to fund future beautification projects in the neighborhood.
For more information on the Cooper-Young Garden Club, contact: Kim Halyak (901-299-5887, email@example.com) or Judy Shellabarger (901-278-2226, firstname.lastname@example.org).