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Nuts and Bolts

Time to open up the ol’ Overton Park mailbag and answer a few questions!

City of Memphis crews remove a hazard treeI’ve seen some pretty big trees coming down near Memphis College of Art. What’s going on?
City of Memphis crews are taking down a few mature trees this week that are seriously decayed. You might remember that last year, a large tree flattened a car parked in front of MCA. The tree that came down today is in that same vicinity, and was in danger of falling at any time. With the loss of mature healthy oaks we’ve experienced in the Old Forest as a result of the recent storms, it was just a matter of time before a tree in this condition would fall. We’re glad the City made the decision to remove these hazard trees.

The City maintains the trees in Overton Park, so if you see a tree you think may be hazardous, dial 311 or submit a report online.

The lake’s resident ducks took a break from swimming this afternoon.

How is Rainbow Lake faring in this hot weather?
As we’ve talked about before, Rainbow Lake often experiences some summertime sadness because it’s shallow and lined with concrete, making it easy for algae to grow. However, except for a couple of locations where the algae is collecting, the lake is in pretty good shape. This summer, we’re using an Integrated Pest Management approach to the algae problem.  That means we are using chemical (copper), biological (beneficial bacteria), and mechanical (raking) methods to control the algae.  Our goal has not been to eliminate the algae but simply to control it.  Eliminating all life in the lake would really be bad for wildlife, and we like the turtles and frogs.  There are two coves that need some help where the algae is actually trapping trash and debris, and we’re going to physically rake those out next week.

Future member of the tree trailWhy are some trees in the park wrapped in orange ribbon? Are those scheduled to be removed?
Quite the contrary! Those trees are about to become part of our new “tree trail,” which will lead from the Parkview retirement community area at Poplar & Tucker all the way through the park to Bike Gate. It’s part of recertifying Overton Park as a Level 1 Arboretum with the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council. To earn this designation, an area must be open to the public, with at least 30 trees labeled for educational purposes and protected and maintained during the period of certification. Earlier this summer, we hosted Julia Lovett, an intern from Rhodes College, who took the lead on this project and came up with the idea to label the trees in a linear trail.

Memphis Botanic Garden generously lent us the use of its label-producing device, and the tags should begin going onto the trees next week. We’ll publish a map online showing the full trail as well. We hope you enjoy getting to know some of the many different kinds of trees that call Overton Park home!

Is this the final weekend for the Overton Square shuttle?
Yes, Saturday and Sunday are the final days. To celebrate everyone who has supported the shuttle, Citizens to Preserve Overton Park will be giving away coupons for a free ice cream cone at Sweet Noshings to the first 100 riders this weekend! You’ll get your voucher when you board at the Overton Square garage. Find all the shuttle info here.