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Overton Park Conservancy Gives Thanks

Overton Park Conservancy Gives ThanksThis is Overton Park Conservancy’s first Thanksgiving since forming in December 2011, and the past year has given us an incredible list of things to be grateful for.  In honor of the holiday, our staff shares some of the things that make them thankful to have such a special place to come to work every day.

Tina Sullivan, Executive Director – I’m thankful for the perspective I get from working at Overton Park that I’m a small part of a much greater history. At 111 years old, this park is woven into the very cultural fabric of Memphis and has inspired generations of regular visitors and advocates. Overton Park Conservancy is less than one year old, but many of the people we meet every day have been working to sustain this park for decades. Often, their children are involved as well, carrying on a beloved family tradition. They know that some of the work we accomplish today, like planting trees, will be even more meaningful to future generations.

Overton Park Volunteers
Volunteers work in the formal gardens

Naomi Van Tol, Director of Operations and Capital Improvements – I’m thankful for the many citizens who worked together to create a bright new vision for Overton Park, and I’m thankful for the humble heroes who are making that vision a reality. I’m thankful for our diligent cleaning and landscaping crews who work hard to keep the park beautiful for everyone to enjoy. I’m thankful for the park institutions that give our city a wealth of cultural, educational, musical, and recreational resources. Most of all, I’m thankful for the deep communal devotion that has sustained Overton Park for 111 years and shows no sign of slacking off.

Susan Green, Director of Events and Volunteers – I am grateful for all of the groups that choose Overton Park to host their outreach events for organizations, especially all of the 5K’s. I’ve met lots of people this year with different organizations that are very passionate about their causes. I’m also very grateful for our volunteers who give their time freely to help us accomplish our goals and care about the park so much. I’m very blessed to be working with my co-workers who are a great team and who are so dedicated and excited about our work.

Old Forest, Overton Park
Unlocking the secrets of the Old Forest

Scout Anglin, Program Coordinator – I’m grateful for people who use the park on a regular basis. The people who are out in the park daily with their dogs, using the trails, or simply hanging out really make the park what it is–a safe and beautiful place for people to come together in the city.

Melissa McMasters, Communications Coordinator – I’m grateful for the abundance of stories in this park.  It seems like every day I meet someone who wants to share a special memory of their time here, whether it’s a retiree who once danced at the Levitt Shell or a student who spent time in the park as a child and now wants to learn more about its history.  Even the trees in the Old Forest have stories to tell.  I’m happy to be a part of sharing these stories with all of you, because the powerful connections between people and their park are what creates momentum to keep the park active, clean, and safe.